ST. BLAISE CELEBRATION 2021. – A symbol of new hope

Saint Blaise, the patron saint of Dubrovnik, has watched over the city for more than a millennium. His festivity is celebrated on February 3, a date which was, and remains, the most festive and important day in Dubrovnik’s longstanding history.

Over the years we proudly reported with images of streets full to bursting; groups standing in the Stradun, waiting behind their parishes’ standard bearers, many of them dressed in traditional costumes, worn with pride by pilgrims of all ages: beautiful, brocaded bodices, red and gilt caps, ballooning dark blue pantaloons and brilliant silk sashes for the men, heavy black skirts on the women.

And it is these traditional and distinctive qualities and excellence of expression that lives in the area for over a thousand years is what got this festivity listed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

And it is that that we are going to have to miss this year.

In this year’s address of the festivities, the members of the clergy appealed that people stay home and follow the ceremony through media.


But they reminded us that this very holiday always represented freedom and new hope.

No matter from which side you approach the Old Town of Dubrovnik, you will inevitably come upon St. Blaise’s figure holding a miniature version of the city in his hands, watching over, protecting.

More than just the patron-saint of Dubrovnik, St. Blaise has become a reminder of the town’s tradition and culture,

a confirmation of the existence of the ancient city, a symbol of the independence of the Dubrovnik Republic, a spiritual and religious unification of the town and the countryside into one inseparable whole.
… and a testament to the resilience of the city. A recognition that this city has gone through some tough times, never giving up, never losing hope, and always coming out strong, a city proud of its history and culture.

For this year’s festivities, some the elements of the celebration remain unchanged:

Candlemass, February 2, at 3:30 PM on The Holiday of Light.

The celebration officially begins with the clamour of all the bells in the city, and the raise of the saint’s white flag on Orlando’s Column, when the Rector of St Blaise’s church releases a flock of white doves – symbolizing freedom and peace – the jewels which Dubrovnik Republic cherished and preserved for centuries.

The Grand Mass on February 3, at 10:00 AM followed by the relict procession on the main street Stradun.

The banner salute on February 3, at 3:30 PM

Delegations from every parish in the region gather to pay their respects and salute with their banners in front of the church of St. Blaise.

Closing of the festivities, on February 7, 9:00 AM

The mass on Gorica Sv. Vlaha, a hilltop with the patron’s chapel, followed by the lowering of the flag in front of the St. Blaise church in the Old Town.


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