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Dubrovnik Marks 1,052nd Annual Feast of Saint Blaise with Time-Honoured Traditions

Dubrovnik, the historic Croatian city, celebrated the 1,052nd Feast of Saint Blaise, its esteemed patron, in a display of enduring tradition and cultural heritage that captivates both residents and visitors alike

For the 1,052nd consecutive year, Dubrovnik, the jewel of the Croatian coast, celebrated the Feast of Saint Blaise, its venerable patron saint, with a fervor reflective of its deep historical roots and rich cultural tapestry. The tradition, which traces its origins back to the year 972, holds a place of paramount importance in the city’s annual cycle of events, symbolising not only spiritual devotion but also the enduring identity of the Dubrovnik community.

Saint Blaise, born in the ancient city of Sebaste under Roman dominion in Lesser Armenia, was renowned for his profound medical knowledge and his philanthropic zeal, dedicating his life to the service of the indigent and the ailing. His transition from a benevolent physician to the Bishop of Sebaste marked a spiritual journey that culminated in his martyrdom in 316 AD, enduring a brutal end that included scourging, mutilation with iron combs, and decapitation on February 3rd.

Photo: Ivan Vukovic/instagram/dubrovnik_tourist_guide

The festivity, enshrined in UNESCO’s compendium of Intangible Cultural Heritage, once again drew throngs to partake in the venerable processions and rites that have been the hallmark of Dubrovnik’s homage to Saint Blaise for centuries. The event, transcending mere religious observance, serves as a vibrant testament to the city’s historical resilience and communal solidarity.

Yesterday, on the eve of the main celebration, the city commenced its festivities with the observance of Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus, accompanied by the symbolic release of white doves and the hoisting of Saint Blaise’s banner, a prelude to the grandeur of the day dedicated to Dubrovnik’s spiritual guardian. This sequence of events underscores the seamless blend of religious reverence and cultural heritage that defines the annual feast, cementing its status as the pinnacle of Dubrovnik’s societal calendar.

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