• About

    Festa di San Nicola 2023 will take place between Sunday, May 7, and Tuesday, May 9, 2023, in Bari.

    The Feast of Saint Nicholas is a religious celebration which takes place every year in May, in Bari, for three consecutive days. The feast is dedicated to Nicholas of Myra, also known as Nicholas of Bari, an early Christian bishop of Greek descent who lived between the years 270 and 343.

    Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of children, and his habit of gift-giving gave rise to the tradition of Santa Claus, a character also known outside the Christian world. In Europe, he is celebrated on December 6, the day of his death.



    The relics of Saint Nicholas were originally located in the Greek city of Myra, in Lycia. After the city had fallen into Muslim hands, in the Western world arose the desire to bring them to safety. The relics were transported to Bari and Venice in the 11th century, following two separate robberies.

    The first translation was carried out by 66 sailors from Bari, including the priests Lupo and Grimoldo, who left with three ships. The remains of the Saint arrived in Bari on May 9, 1087.

    The abbot Elia, who would later become bishop of Bari, promoted the construction of a new church dedicated to the Saint, the current Basilica of Saint Nicholas, which was consecrated in 1089 by Pope Urban II, on the occasion of the placement of the relics under the altar of the crypt.



    On May 7, the pilgrims devoted to Saint Nicholas will arrive in the city. To commemorate the ancient arrival of the relics of Saint Nicholas, a historical parade will be held during the evening. On this occasion, percussionists, people in costumes and flag-wavers will parade along the streets of Bari.

    On May 8, will take place the solemn procession in which the statue of the Saint will be carried to Molo San Nicola (Saint Nicholas Pier), where a Eucharistic celebration will be held, presided over by the Archbishop of Bari.

    The statue will be then transported into the sea by a procession of boats. Towards the evening, the boats will gather at the pier, and the statue will return to the basilica, through a new sumptuous procession. A fireworks display will take place during the evening.

    On May 9, following the Eucharistic celebration held in Piazza del Ferrarese, the holy Manna of Saint Nicholas will be officially collected in the crypt of the Basilica of Saint Nicholas, in the presence of the faithful and religious and civil authorities.

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