About St. Martin's Day
Saint Martin's Day or Martinmas, is the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours and is celebrated in the liturgical year on November 11th.
In the Middle Ages and early modern period, it was an important festival in many parts of Europe, particularly Germanic-speaking regions. In these regions it marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter
History of Saint Martin's Day
Saint Martin of Tours was a Christian who served as a cavalryman in the Roman army in the 3rd century.
He left the military and became the third bishop of Tours, France in 371 AD.
The most famous legend about Martin was that while a soldier, he had cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save the latter from the cold.
That night, Martin dreamt of Jesus, wearing the half-cloak and saying to the angels, "Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is now baptised; he has clothed me." Martin's part of the cloak became an important relic in the Middle Ages. The location of the relic and the priest who looked after the cloak (latin: cappa) are the source of the words 'chapel' and 'chaplin'.
Another legend has it that he hid in a goose stall when he was summoned by the church to become a bishop, as he felt unworthy. But the geese cackled so loudly that Martin was found – and now geese are eaten on his name day.