St. Martin’s Day

S. Martin xe ‘ndà in sofita a trovar ea so’ novissa
so’ novissa no ghe gera S.Martin col cùeo par tera
E col nostro sachetìn cari signori
xe S.Martin!

Saint Martin went up to the attic to see his girlfriend,
His girlfriend wasn’t there, Saint Martin fell on his bum,
Give us something for our bag,
it’s Saint Martin’s day!

The tradition of celebrating St. Martin in Venice dates back to many centuries ago. Even if it is not very famous, it is loved by all Venetians. This historic holiday is celebrated on 11th November to remember the life of the saint and the famous legend that is tied to his name.

“On a cold and rainy 11th November, Martino was out riding when he came across an old man on the road who was stumbling along and suffering from the freezing temperature. Martino wanted to help the man, but had no money or cover to offer him. So he took out his sword, cut his cloak in half, and then offered half to the man. He then rode on with his hearth full of joy. The weather then improved, and through a break in the clouds sunshine appeared. Today, the warm days of November are still referred to as the “summer of San Martino That night Martino dreamed that Jesus, with his cloak in hand, thanked him for his compassionate gesture.”.

In Venice the tradition of St. Martin is remembered mainly by children, going around the streets of the city with a paper crown on their head, making a lot of noise with pots and bells and asking people for gifts and singing the song of St. Martin.

In this day Venetian grandparents and parents give their children a traditional biscuit in the shape of Saint Martin on horseback with his sword decorated with sugar icing, coated with plain or milk chocolate, and decorated with chocolate drops and candies.

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