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La festa di S. Martino

S. Martino Cookie

Today is Saint Martin's Day, a day of a soldier's sacrifice, although a rather different one than those commemorated by Armistice Day. Martin was a Roman soldier from Hungary, who, pitying a roadside beggar near Amiens, cut his cloak into two pieces with his sword and gave the beggar one of them. Later, he realized in a vision that he had given his (half) cloak to Christ, and converted to Christianity.

Traditionally, in many parts of Europe, this is the beginning of winter. It's a feast day in preparation of a pre-Christmas fasting period, a day for celebrating the harvest, eating goose, and drinking wine.

The Venetian tradition is to buy and eat cookies in the shape of Saint Martin - San Martino. This is one. My parents brought it to me this past week as a seasonal gift. Can you make out the Roman soldier with helmet on horseback underneath all that frosting and candy?



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 11th, 2008 11:28 pm (UTC)
I forgot it was also Martinmas -- a sad thing for a member of the Societas Sancti Martini to admit.
Nov. 12th, 2008 11:13 am (UTC)
One of my favourite saints.
Nov. 12th, 2008 12:33 pm (UTC)
Erm. My first thought was, "Homer Simpson on a horse?"
Nov. 13th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
It's certainly cartoonish!
Nov. 12th, 2008 05:26 pm (UTC)
IIRC you mentioned a meme filter a while ago. theengineer just reminded me. Could I request to be added?
Nov. 13th, 2008 08:31 am (UTC)
I've added you to it. I used it just yesterday!
Nov. 13th, 2008 09:32 am (UTC)
St Martin! I haven't celebrated this since I was a kid - we would go around with lanterns and sing songs. I'd completely forgotten about this - and I never realised it was also Armistice Day.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )