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Feast of St Blaise

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Feast of St Blaise

St Blaise
©2008 Ministry of Culture

St Blaise (Sv Vlaho) is Dubrovnik's most beloved saint and historical figure. It follows that the Feast of St Blaise is celebrated with fervor. The festivities stretch as far back as 1190 and are unique to Dubrovnik.

The celebration begins on February 2, the Virgin Mary Candlemas, with the release of white doves in front of the Church of St Blaise and the raising of St Blaise's flag on Orlando's column.

On the feast day, February 3, there's a morning mass to the saint and then a procession of priests and churchgoers file up Stradun bearing reliquaries of the saint and banners before returning to the church. At the church, the banners are swirled and lowered in an intricate display of local technique. It's also an occasion for everyone to show off the lavish traditional costumes and ornaments.

Priests spend the day blessing the believers using two intertwined candles around the throat which is believed to prevent throat problems. At dusk, the stained glass windows of St Blaise church blaze with light.

Naturally there is a large lunch. The traditional dish is macaroni with meat sauce ('dirty' macaroni) and the special hrostule donuts.

In 2009, St Blaise Feast Day in Dubrovnik was inscribed on Unesco's List of Intangible Heritage.

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