Friday, November 11, 2011

Sao Martinho Day

Here in Portugal today, 11.11.11 is Sao Martinho Day or St Martins Day is celebrated by various countries.

Source: Sonitus Sanctus
St Martin was born in Hungary in 316, his father was an officer in the Roman Army.  When St Martin was 12 he became a Christian, angering his father who put him in the Roman Army.  There is a story that during his time in the army, he took his cloak, cut it in half to give to a beggar lying the cold.  That night he dreamt of Jesus wearing the cloak and telling the angels, 'here is Martin, he is not baptized and he gave his cloak'.  He later became a monk.

St Martin's Day is celebrated all over Europe and through South America.  The tradition is that it is a feasting time, before the fast for 'Advent' and marks the end of harvesting time and the start of winter.

In Portugal, Sao Martinho's Day is associated with the maturation of the season's wine and the first day of tasting the new wine.  It is commonly marked by roasting chestnuts and drinking 'Jeropiga'.

Personally I do not like Chestnuts but might partake of a glass of 'Jeropiga' in honour of Sao Martinho.

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