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The Festivity of St. Blaise marks the 15th anniversary of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage
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The day that is dedicated to Dubrovnik's patron saint, Saint Blaise, an old man who carries the City in the palm of his hand and whose statues decorate city walls and entrances, has been a special day for the City of Dubrovnik since 972 when it was celebrated for the first time.
The Festivity of St. Blaise marks the 15th anniversary of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage

This year marks the 1052nd celebration of Dubrovnik's traditional festivity in honor of its patron saint, St. Blaise, recognized as UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2009. This traditional celebration starts on the day of Our Lady of Candelora, February 2, the festivities include the release of white doves symbolizing freedom and peace and the raising of St. Blaise's banner on Orlando's column. Secular activities abound, with restaurants offering winter delicacies, exhibits, and concerts dedicated to St. Blaise. The city walls showcase over a hundred stone depictions of the patron saint.

Folk costumes from Croatian regions, including Župa dubrovačka and Konavle, add a touch of tradition. Vibrant red banners flutter behind Orlando, accompanied by trombunjeri firing historic rifles. As darkness falls, 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.

Each year on February 2, when Dubrovnik celebrates Our Lady of Candelora, people repeat the old dictum: "Candelora, winter goodbye, Saint Blaise follows her and says it is a lie." Truly, on that day, when continental cities are drenched in torrential rain and the rest of Europe is often caked in ice, Dubrovnik is full of mimosas, almonds in full bloom and sunny spring days.

On the day of the festivity itself, February 3, numerous faithful and church dignitaries come to the City from nearby areas carrying the saint's relics across Stradun and city streets in a solemn procession, and under a baldachin is the greatest of all relics, the shroud of Jesus

In front of Saint Blaise's Church, the banners salute the patron saint who has been protecting the City for many centuries. This is an opportunity for the participants to not only demonstrate special skills but also to show off beautiful and original folk costumes. Throughout the day, priests bless the faithful in the church, using two crossed candles since it is believed that Saint Blaise protects against throat diseases. The Saint Blaise festivity is also the Day of the City of Dubrovnik, which is why apart from religious ceremonies these days are rich in various activities.

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