The Festivity of St. Blaise

Every year, on February 3 Dubrovnik celebrates the most important festivity of all: the festivity of Saint Blaise.

The opening is on the day before, on Candlemas. It starts with the ritual of peace, symbolized by two white doves released by a bishop. In the past, the utmost goal of Dubrovnik, the small independent city-state, was peace, a prerequisite for freedom and prosperity. After the opening ceremony, the blessing of the throat followed, honoring the saint’s miracle.

Early morning of saint’s day, banner bearers from local parishes flow into the city, announced by the fire of the historical muskets, escorted by locals wearing folk costumes. They are the centerpiece of the festivity, a ceremonial procession attended by bishops, ambassadors, civic leaders, visiting notables, and the people of Dubrovnik. All those who honor tradition and the right to freedom and peace.

This celebration dates back to at least 1190, and it lasts in continuity till nowadays. Although, over time, the ceremony evolved. Each generation slightly shaped the ritual, but the core is still the same: the procession of sacred relics and reliquaries. The most valuable of all are the relics of St. Blaise, of his skull, arms, and legs.

The festivity embodies various aspects of human creativity, from rituals to folk songs, from performance to traditional crafts.

The Festivity of Saint Blaise, the city patron of Dubrovnik, in 2009 was inscribed on the UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, regarding its more than 1000 years long tradition.

 

The Festivity of St. Blaise Walk with Vesna
The Festivity of St. Blaise

May Saint Blaise bless you all!

The most beautiful aspect of St. Blaise’s festivity is the timing. The celebration is in the wintertime, during the winter break, at a time when locals have their city just for themselves. Everyone is on central street on that day. Women adorned, men decorated, and children playfully run around. The scent of laurel wreaths around every store entrance is in the air, sour oranges hung on the top of them. Usually, the patron provides nice weather, so the city bathes with the sun.


The celebration of St. Blaise is a living testimony to the past of Dubrovnik, a breath of the past time in which we get lost for at least one day.

The Festivity of St. Blaise

Every year, on February 3 Dubrovnik celebrates the most important festivity of all: the festivity of Saint Blaise.

The opening is on the day before, on Candlemas. It starts with the ritual of peace, symbolized by two white doves released by a bishop. In the past, the utmost goal of Dubrovnik, the small independent city-state, was peace, a prerequisite for freedom and prosperity. After the opening ceremony, the blessing of the throat followed, honoring the saint’s miracle.

 

Early morning of saint’s day, banner bearers from local parishes flow into the city, announced by the fire of the historical muskets, escorted by locals wearing folk costumes. They are the centerpiece of the festivity, a ceremonial procession attended by bishops, ambassadors, civic leaders, visiting notables, and the people of Dubrovnik. All those who honor tradition and the right to freedom and peace.

This celebration dates back to at least 1190, and it lasts in continuity till nowadays. Although, over time, the ceremony evolved. Each generation slightly shaped the ritual, but the core is still the same: the procession of sacred relics and reliquaries. The most valuable of all are the relics of St. Blaise, of his skull, arms, and legs.

The festivity embodies various aspects of human creativity, from rituals to folk songs, from performance to traditional crafts.

The Festivity of Saint Blaise, the city patron of Dubrovnik, in 2009 was inscribed on the UNESCO’s List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, regarding its more than 1000 years long tradition.

 

May Saint Blaise bless you all!

The most beautiful aspect of St. Blaise’s festivity is the timing. The celebration is in the wintertime, during the winter break, at a time when locals have their city just for themselves. Everyone is on central street on that day. Women adorned, men decorated, and children playfully run around. The scent of laurel wreaths around every store entrance is in the air, sour oranges hung on the top of them. Usually, the patron provides nice weather, so the city bathes with the sun.


The celebration of St. Blaise is a living testimony to the past of Dubrovnik, a breath of the past time in which we get lost for at least one day.

The Festivity of St. Blaise
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