The Festivity of Saint Blaise and the Day of the City of Dubrovnik
The Festivity of Saint Blaise and the Day of the City of Dubrovnik

On February 3rd, the Day of the Festivity of St. Blaise, and for 1044 years in a row 
since the year 972, we open wide the door to our City, while the flight of white 
doves marking the opening of the Festivity reminds us of the values of freedom – 
the greatest treasure of the Republic of Dubrovnik. It is rare to find a city whose 
identity is so intrinsically connected with its patron saint, as it is the case with 
Dubrovnik. The City and the Saint are one.

The celebration of Dubrovnik's patron is special and unique. It begins on Our 
Lady of Candles or Candlemas on February 2nd when white doves, a symbol of 
freedom and peace, are released in front of the saint's church and by the raising 
of Blaise's banner in the central place of the Old City – upon Orlando’s Column. 
On this occasion, an old saying is often recited: ˝Candlemas in, winter out, 
followed by St. Blaise, claiming that it's not true˝.
And indeed, on that day when the cities in the North are soaked in rain and 
Europe is snowed in, Dubrovnik is full of mimosas, daffodils, and sunny, true 
spring days.  At dawn on February 3rd, with the platoons of the Dubrovnik 
Musketeers, a historic Dubrovnik unit, the Grand Masters – a distinguished 
craftsman and seaman – await the banners from the east and the west that will 
take part in the procession honouring the patron. 
On February 3rd, the very day of the Festivity, a celebratory mass takes place in 
the open, from where the procession Church dignitaries, banners, and the many 
faithful who rush towards the City from the all of Dubrovnik’s surroundings 
The relics of St. Blaise are carried through Stradun and the city streets, and 
under the canopy, the most important relic of all – the swaddling cloth of baby 
Jesus. In front of the Church of Saint Blaise, the banners are placed and swayed 
in a special manner thereby demonstrating respect for the saint who has been 
holding watch over Dubrovnik for a number of centuries. It is the occasion to 
show off this special skill, as well as the magnificent and rich national costumes 
of the inhabitants of Dubrovnik’s surroundings that attract attention with their 
originality and beauty. 

On the eve of the Festivity, the stained glass windows of the Church of 
Dubrovnik's patron saint shine with special radiance and light up the festive bay 
leaf garlands. Priests administer the blessing of throats with crossed candles to 
the believers who flow into the Church throughout the day; this sacrament 
protects against illnesses of the throat.
With Blaise's blessing comes the send-off until the next year’s Festivity of Saint 
Blaise that gathers the loyal people of Dubrovnik and their guests, as well as a 
large number of domestic and foreign guests. It is certainly the most important 
ecclesiastical and secular event every winter, as well as a unique tourist 

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