Yummy, tonight we are going to eat a goose – in memory of St. Martin of Tours.
Never hear about St. Martin?
Martin of Tours was a French Roman soldier who later on became bishop. He is most famous for his cutting of the cloak in half to share with a beggar on a cold winter evening.
In memory of him hiding from becoming a bishop in the goose pen and being betrayed by the sound of the geese, people share a goose with friends or family the night of the 11th. In the really old days people started a 40 day long fasting period the day after this feast. This period was shortened later on by the church and is now known as Advent – the 24 days leading up to Christmas eve.
From being a French tradition it spread all over Europe and is well known and celebrated in most countries.
In Germany most kindergarten or school classes have a little lantern procession on the 11th or the night before – so today. For weeks they prepare lanterns and rehearse famous St. Martin´s songs. The most famous song is probably this one:
So why does she tell us today and not tomorrow, the 11th ? … Well…. There is another fancy tradition coming up tomorrow, which I would like to introduce to you. And beside that. You might be inspired and spontaneously invite your family, friends or neighbors for a little feast. Bon appetite!