Today’s celebration of Candlemass in Dubrovnik’s Old Town marks the beginning of festivities in honour of the city’s patron saint, Saint Blaise. Thousands flocked to the beautiful walled town for the opening ceremony, to see Bishop Mate Uzinic release white doves on the steps of the Church of St.Blaise, symbolising freedom and peace.
Dubrovnik’s brass band providing the music for the event and Dubrovnik’s Trombunjeri ceremonial gunmen were also in attendance. Masters of ceremony, known as Festanjuli, dressed in traditional sashes and bowler hats, raised the flag of St.Blaise on Orlando’s column, something considered a great honour for those selected. Members of local folklore ensembles were also part of the procession, dressed in their intricate traditional costumes.
This festive period is a time when families prepare local dishes such as Sporki Makaruli (Dirty Macaroni) and Prikle as a sweet treat for their guests. No doubt many of those in the crowd today feasted on the tasty pasta dish for lunch.
Take a look at our extensive photo gallery for a slice of the truly magical atmosphere from Dubrovnik’s big day.