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Dubrovnik’s Day – Saint Blaise festivity for 1043rd time !



This year, for 1043rd time, Dubrovnik will again honour its patron saint with a traditional festivity, which was made a part of UNESCO’s register of intangible heritage in 2009. This traditional celebration starts on the day of Our Lady of Candelora, February 2, with the releasing of white doves, which symbolize freedom and peace, in front of a church dedicated to the saint and by raising Saint Blaise’s banner on Orlando’s column. Apart from the religious festivities in Dubrovnik, during those days numerous secular activities have been organized for domestic residents and tourists alike. Restaurants offer typical winter delicacies and you can enjoy many exhibits and concerts dedicated to Saint Blaise, and during a walk on city walls you can see over a hundred stone depictions of Dubrovnik’s patron saint.

It is hard to decide what is more beautiful and attractive on Saint Blaise’s day. Folk costumes of Croatian Littoral region, Župa dubrovačka or Konavle, all evoke the times of folk customs. Colourful red banners catch the eye as they flutter on the square behind Orlando, and we are mesmerized as well by a group of trombunjeri who carry short and broad rifles on their shoulders which had been used in the past to create noise and frighten away enemies of the City.

They fire their guns before entering the City, on Brsalje, where, during the time of the Republic, shooting rifles and cannons was practiced. In the evening, when darkness envelops the City, and saints relics are resting in the treasury, guests from surrounding villages return home. Green laurel wreaths decorate the front of the beautiful baroque entrance into the saint’s church, stained-glass windows shine on the façade and statues of Saint Blaise, a saint who for centuries has been holding a model of the City in his outstretched hand, as if trying to bring the City closer to his heart and protective embrace, gazes down at the passers-by from the city walls, lavish buildings and churches.