Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik

Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik
Puštanje golubica.JPG
Release of doves in front of Dubrovnik Cathedral
Country Croatia
Reference 00
Region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 2009

Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik (Croatian: Festa Svetog Vlaha, zaštitnika Dubrovnika) is a festivity organised on February 3 continuously since year 972 in the City of Dubrovnik, Croatia on the occasion of the celebration of Saint Blaise's day. Festivity is based on the legend of the appearance of St. Blaise who helped the people of Dubrovnik to defend their town against Republic of Venice. Festivity is attended by a large number of people that include residents of the city, surrounding areas, other parts of Croatia and neighboring countries, as well as tourists, representatives of state and local authorities and Roman Catholic Church.[1] Festivity was made a part of UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2009.[2]

Ministry of Culture describes Festivity with these words: "Besides the spiritual significance, Festivity in particular forms social relations and rules as well as the quality of government. Festivity as an expression of worship of a saint marked the whole culture and partly natural area of the City and the surrounding area, and through the participation of individuals and groups from other places in the country as well as those from neighboring countries, encourages intercultural dialogue."[3]

Legend [ edit ]

After ancient Greek colony Epidaurum was destroyed by Avars and Slavic invaders in the 7th century,[4] refugees from Epidaurus fled to the nearby island Laas or Laus (meaning "stone" in Greek),[5] from which Ragusa evolved into Dubrovnik.[6] Immediately after the new settlement began to develop, greedy neighbors become envious of it and started to look for chance to destroy it. According to legend, the Venetians, while on their way to the Levant in year 972, anchored themselves near Gruž and Lokrum under the false pretense of restocking food, while their real intention was to conquer Dubrovnik. Saint Blaise appeared to priest Stojko while he was praying in the Church of St. Stephen, and ordered him to tell to Dubrovnik Senate about the real intention of the Venetians so Senate could prepare defence. People of Dubrovnik managed to prepare defence thus forcing Venetians to retreat. In order to thank St. Blase, people of Dubrovnik decided to declare him as Dubrovnik's main patron instead of previous Sergius and Bacchus.[7]

Description [ edit ]

Flag of Dubrovnik Republic with Saint Blaise holding City model
Procession held on 3 February 2014

Festivity of St. Blaise was originated in year 972, and was a feast of all the inhabitants of the Dubrovnik Republic. In order to facilitate the participation to everyone, so-called "Sloboština of St. Blaise" was introduced. It was a time period during which every offender, convict and exile could freely come into the City for two days before and two days after the Festivity, while nobody could held him accountable. Sloboština was later expanded to seven days before and seven days after Festivity.[8] The entire Republic of Dubrovnik was hugging in the City for the Festivity. Those who couldn't go would celebrate at home with their church banners and the national costume. They would thank St. Blaise for his protection in the past, and recommend themselves, and their families, for his protection in the future.

Festivity starts on the day of Our Lady of Candelora, which is being celebrated on February 2, with the releasing of white doves, which symbolize freedom and peace, in front of Dubrovnik Cathedral, and by raising Saint Blaise's banner on Orlando's column. On the day of Our Lady of Candelora, people repeat the old dictum: "Candelora, winter goodbye, Saint Blaise follows her and says it is a lie." On the day of the Festivity, on February 3, the numerous faithful and church dignitaries come to the City from nearby areas carrying the saint's relics across Stradun and city streets in a procession. Under a baldachin is relic of the shroud of Jesus. During procession, Bishop of Dubrovnik and priests carry St. Blaise's relics while people respectfully kiss hands, touch the relics, and pray for themselves and the city. In front of Dubrovnik Cathedral, also known as Saint Blaise's Church, the banners salute Saint Blaise, while priests bless the people using two crossed candles since it is believed that Saint Blaise protects throat. One of attractions of the Festivity is a group of trombunjeri who carry short and broad rifles on their shoulders which had been used in the past to create noise and frighten away enemies of the City. They fire their guns before entering the City, on present-day Brsalje Street, where, during the time of the Republic, shooting rifles and cannons was practiced. After the end of the, procession banners go with their flags to their villages in order to convey St. Blaise's blessings to all those who couldn't come to the City. Festivity was changed over the centuries with each new generation adapting it to their ideas and making it modern.[9][10][11]

Festivity of St. Blaise is also the Day of the City of Dubrovnik.

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ "Saint Blaise festivity - Dubrovnik's Day". Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  2. ^ "Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik - intangible heritage - Culture Sector". UNESCO. 2015-11-30. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  3. ^ "Ministarstvo kulture Republike Hrvatske - KULTURNA BAŠTINA - Nematerijalna kulturna baština - Nematerijalna dobra upisana na UNESCO Reprezentativnu listu nematerijalne kulturne baštine čovječanstva - FESTA SVETOGA VLAHA, ZAŠTITNIKA DUBROVNIKA". Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  4. ^ Researches on the Danube and the Adriatic by Andrew Archibald Paton (1861). Contributions to the Modern History of Hungary and Transylvania, Dalmatia and Croatia, Servia and Bulgaria- page 247
  5. ^ Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, word λάας (laas).
  6. ^ Dalmatia and Montenegro by Sir John Gardner Wilkinson
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Hrvatska kulturna baština - Festa svetog Vlaha - Znanje". Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  9. ^ "Festa svetog Vlaha - Dan grada Dubrovnika". Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  10. ^ "Festa sv. Vlaha u Dubrovniku". Retrieved 2016-02-24.
  11. ^ "Festa svetog Vlaha, 3. veljače". Dubrovnik Sun Gardens. Retrieved 2016-02-24.
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