The feast of St. Martin in Venice is still celebrated and it’s particularly loved by children: on this day, kids go around the shops in Venice, making noises with pots and bells, asking for gifts and coins, and singing the song of St. Martin. It may remember of Halloween, despite the fact that kids are not in costumes.
a trovar ea so novissa,
so novissa no ghe gera
san Martin xe ‘nda col cul par tera,
e col nostro sacchetin,
cari signori xe san martin,
FORA EL SOLDIN!!!
[ENG] St Martin goes on the attic
To find his girlfriend
But his girlfriend wasn’t there
St Martin fell on his a**
And we are here with our tiny bags
Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s St Martin’s Day
Give us your money!!
Moreover, the typical St. Martin cake, traditionally from Venice, is made with short pastry and coloured sugar, with the St. Martin on the horse shape. Many families in Venice like to prepare this sweet at home, however all the bakeries sell it as well.
Also, like in other parts of Italy, even in Venice in the day of St. Martin, people celebrate the feast according to tradition, eating seasonable goods, like chestnuts and red wine.
This historic holiday is celebrated on 11th November to remember the life of St. Martino and the famous legend that is tied to his name.
This is the story of the life of St. Martin:
Martino was born in Pannonia, now known as Hungary, in 316. He was the son of a Roman official, and was a member of the Roman Guard till fiftheener. Martino came to learn about Christianity by secretly frequenting a Christian assembly. He is remembered like an extraordinarily humble and caring man by his acts of charity, and of seeing all men as equal. For example, it is said that Martino behaved towards his military attendant and his brother in the same way, often cleaning his shoes.
After Martino was released from further military duties by the Emperor, he travelled to Poiters, where he was baptised and given the sacraments by Bishop S. Ilario. The many memorable events of his life include his building of the monasteries of Ligugè and Mamontier, and his time as the Bishop of Tours. Martino died on the 11th of November, 397 a.d., in Candes and is buried in the cathedral at Tours. St. Martin is the patron saint of France, and is traditionally depicted on horseback making the gesture of cutting his cloak.
St. Martin is in fact best known for the story of his cloak. 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. That night Martino dreamed that Jesus, with his cloak in hand, thanked him for his compassionate gesture. Today, the warm days of November are still referred to as the “summer of San Martino”.
It is an odd coincidence that Armistice Day, marking the end of the First World War, is also 11th November