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Feast of Saint Nicholas in Bari: when is it celebrated?

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In the month of May the most awaited festival by the people of Bari: the 3-day program for the feast of San Nicola

 

Feast of Saint Nicholas May BariMake a note of these dates because they will be the days that will remain in your memory the most during your experience in Bari. We are talking about 7-8-9 May , the three most awaited days of the year by the people of Bari and beyond.

The feast of Saint Nicholas , the patron saint of the city of Bari, is celebrated at two different times of the year and, above all, in two different ways. December 6th is the religious celebration where many people from Bari, Puglia and pilgrims, especially from Russia, meet in the Basilica of San Nicola and then watch the historical procession and the lighting of the Christmas tree.

From 7 to 9 May , however, comes the actual feast of San Nicola , i.e. the feast of the Patron Saint, in memory of the arrival in Bari of the relics of the Saint transported from Myra by 62 brave sailors (it was the year 1087) .

On these days, in addition to the religious rite, there is also a civil celebration Bari to traffic to allow the passage of one of the longest and most important historical processions in Italy and to host the many, many people from Bari, pilgrims and tourists who during the three days of celebration literally crowd the streets of the center and the seafront (morning and evening) to attend the celebrations, the fireworks and the performance of the National Acrobatic Team also known as tricolor arrows (these last every two years) .


Having said this premise, let's discover together, analyzing in a little more detail, the program of the feast of San Nicola and the engaging feast of the Bari people .

7 May: the painting and the historical procession

Feast of Saint Nicholas when we celebrate
Tradition dictates that the painting of San Nicola must be taken from San Giorgio bay (the place where the sailors arrived with the remains of the Saint) to the old port of Bari, the Molo San Nicola , by means of a fishing boat.
After this symbolic journey, the painting is subsequently delivered and transferred for the historical procession, that is, a representation that recalls the arrival in Bari of the remains of Saint Nicholas complete with caravel, figures and flag-wavers; a journey that starts and ends in the old city, but above all with the delivery of the painting to the Basilica of San Nicola .
It is useless to point out the thousands of people present during the ceremony.

May 8: Saint Nicholas goes to sea

San Nicola Mare party program
On May 8th the statue of Saint Nicholas brought by sea, first through the alleys of old Bari and then the sea of ​​the capital via a fishing boat which, in turn, hosts the Saint in the water for the whole day.

Accompanying the fishing boat are, normally, many boats full of faithful ready to honor the Saint. tricolor arrows perform which, every two years, color the sky of Bari with the Italian tricolor (to say the least unmissable) , and then conclude the day with the traditional fireworks in honor of the Saint .

9 May: the relics and the feast of the Bari people


May 9th is the day of the Holy Manna, that is, the liquid that exudes from the bones of the Saint which is taken by the Rector of the Basilica and exposed to the faithful to renew the blessing of the people of Bari. This day is commonly called "of the Bari people" because the pilgrims who have arrived in Bari leave and the citizens once again witness the fireworks which close the beautiful feast of Saint Nicholas .

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