Bari: Saint Nicholas celebrations
Saint Nicholas is considered the protector of the weak, the defenceless, the unjustly accused as well as of seafarers and more. However, St. Nicholas is best known in western countries as the Patron Saint of children.
St. Nicholas (San Nicola) is also the patron of the city of Bari in Italy, where it is believed he is buried. The Basilica di San Nicola (Basilica of Saint Nicholas) holds the tomb of Saint Nicholas. The Basilica was founded in 1087 to receive the relics of this saint, which were brought from Myra in Lycia. The basilica is an important pilgrimage destination both for Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians from Eastern Europe. Naturally Saint Nicholas is celebrated in Bari in Italy on December 6th. However the biggest celebration of Saint Nicholas is called the Festa di San Nicola, and takes place from May 7th to 9th. In particular on May 8th the relics of the saint are carried on a boat on the sea in front of the city with a great number of boats following (Festa a mare).