Saint Martin’s

The Feast of Saint Martin or Saint Martin’s Day is celebrated annually on 11 November, when he  was buried in the city of Tours. This is one of the celebrations marking the Autumn. There are many traditions associated with this date and that relate to a spirit of conviviality and solidarity. Some of these traditions are: eat the  Saint Martin goose (called Oca); drink the new wine (stored after the harvest) and called  Saint Martin wine; the lighting of fireworks, called  Saint Martin fires. Also associated with the feast of Saint Martin are two main sayings: On Saint Martin day drink the wine and let the water run into the mill, and in Saint Martin’s day go to the cellar and taste the wine.

History of Saint Martin

The legend of Saint Martin says that one day a Roman soldier named Martin, was on his way to his native land. The weather was very cold and Martin met a beggar who was freezing and asked alms. Martin tore his cloak in two halves and gave one to the beggar. Suddenly the cold stopped and the weather warmed. This event is believed to have been the reward for Martin  being  kind to the beggar. The tradition Saint Martin’s Day is to roast chestnuts and drink the new wine, produced by the  summer harvest.. As a rule, on the eve and day of Saint Martin the weather improves and the sun appears. This event is known as the Summer of Saint Martin.

Patron Saint

Saint Martin is the patron of several (ancient and modern) professions such as: tanners, tailors, furriers, soldiers, knights/horse riders, hotels, restaurants and wine producers.

Sentences and Proverbs of Saint Martin

São Martinho semeia fava e o linho. (In Saint Martin’s day seed the bean and flax). Se o inverno não erra o caminho, tê-lo-ei pelo São Martinho. (If winter does not miss the way, I will have it by Saint Martin’s day) Se queres pasmar o teu vizinho, lavra, sacha e esterca pelo São Martinho. (If you want to amaze your neighbour, do the plowing, weeding and fertilization by Saint Martin day.) No dia de São Martinho, vai à adega e prova o vinho. (On Saint Martin’s day,  go to the cellar and taste the wine.) No dia de São Martinho, castanhas, pão e vinho. (On Saint Martin’s day, chetnuts, bread and wine). No dia de São Martinho com duas castanhas se faz um magustinho. (On Saint Martin with two chestnuts you make a little party “magustinho”). Dia de São Martinho, fura o teu pipinho. (Day of Saint Martin, drills your wine cask ) Dia de São Martinho, lume, castanhas e vinho. (On Day of Saint Martin’s day fire, chestnuts and wine.) Pelo São Martinho, todo o mosto é bom vinho. (By St Martin, the entire mash is good wine.)