Tradition and people

What Feast of St. Blaise Means for Dubrovnik Tourists?

We released white doves and marked the start of the celebration of Fiest of St. Blaise today. What does this mean for all of you tourists? These days, restaurants will 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.

The traditional festivity which was made a part of UNESCO’s register of intangible heritage in 2009 starts on the day of Our Lady of Candelora, February 2 . On that day, when continental cities are drenched in torrential rain, and the rest of Europe is often caked with ice, Dubrovnik is full of mimosas, almonds in full bloom and sunny spring days.

What actually happens today is…

Colorful red banners catch the eye as they flutter on the square behind Orlando, and a group of trombones who carry short and large rifles on their shoulders which had been used in the past to create noise and frighten away enemies of the City enters the city.
They fire their guns before entering the City, on Brsalje, where, during the time of the Republic, shooting rifles and cannons wase 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.