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A celebration of wine A celebration of wine

Saint Martin’s Day in Croatia

Written by  Nov 13, 2016

Saint Martin was a bishop from Tours in France who is worshiped all around Europe as the patron saint of winemakers. St. Martin's Day, in Croatia known as Martinje, celebrates the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of harvesting, but it also marks the day when must traditionally turns into wine.

St. Martin’s feast is a ritual of wine baptism that has been celebrated since the 17th century in the northern parts of Croatia. Wine lovers gather in vineyards of their hosts in middle of November. In the ritual of baptizing, actors dress up and take roles of judge, bishop, godmother and godfather of the wine. In Croatia and Slovenia on the Saint Martin's Day people cherish the tradition of making grape juice ‘’must’’ into wine. At the celebrations they usually prepare Martin's goose.

There is an interesting story about the goose. Martin, who was a Roman legionary and a great lover of wine, was released from service due to his faith prohibiting him from fighting. After finishing his education he was supposed to become a Christian bishop. According to legend, that is not what Martin wanted. On the day of his appointment as bishop he hid in a goose pen. Unfortunately, he was betrayed by the cackling of the geese and became a bishop after all.

Especially big celebrations in Croatia are in Sveti Martin na Muri, Pozega, Kutjevo, Velika Gorica, Dugo Selo, Sv. Ivan Zelina and many other places. St. Martins Day is always celebrated on the 11th of November in Croatia.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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