St. Martins Day – when must is transformed into wine

Published: 10.10.2013

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St. Martins Day – when must is transformed into wine

St. Martins Day is the main autumn thanksgiving holiday – the day when must is symbolically transformed into wine. In Slovenia, it is considered to be one of the largest holidays that brings a pleasant warmth into otherwise cold November days; it is not a labour-free holiday, but its celebration is very popular in Slovenia. Through St. Martins Day, Slovenia co-shapes its image as a developed winegrowing and wine country.

St. Martins Day – when must is transformed into wine

St. Martin`s Day is the main autumn thanksgiving holiday – the day when must is symbolically transformed into wine. In Slovenia, it is considered to be one of the largest holidays that brings a pleasant warmth into otherwise cold November days; it is not a labour-free holiday, but its celebration is very popular in Slovenia. Through St. Martin`s Day, Slovenia co-shapes its image as a developed winegrowing and wine country.

St. Martin`s Day or the name day of St. Martin of Tours is the day on which European countries remember the saint who gave his coat to a beggar in order to hide from his poverty. In Slovenia, St. Martin`s Day is celebrated primarily as a wine holiday. Until this day, must is considered to be an impure and sinful new wine that is transformed into real wine through blessing.

The beginnings of the celebration of St. Martin`s Day in Slovenia can be traced back to the period between the 7th and 10th century as well as later on, while the general popularity of St. Martin`s Day can only be seen in the last twenty or thirty years, alongside the general development of the vineyards, winemaking and wine culture in Slovenia.

The recognized Slovenian ethnologist, Prof. Dr. Janez Bogataj, says that St. Martin`s Day is an opportunity to get to know the messages that are offered by each glass of noble wine; it is also a time for socialising with friends and one of the few holidays on which gifts and other motives are not known. St. Martin`s Day in Slovenia still represents a day to preserve contact with the most ancient holidays when Slovene predecessors rejoiced over the new harvest – in the case of St. Martin`s Day, the wine harvest.

St. Martin`s Day has also become an integral part of Slovenian tourism, since numerous tourist centres and hotels prepare a special event for their guests, at which one can become familiar with the Slovenian wine culture and tasting of Slovenian wines.

Speaking of wines, one cannot go past the most prestigious wine event in Slovenia – the Slovenian Wine Festival. As in the last five years, the Slovenian Wine Festival will be a part of the Cuisine Festival, the 6th in a row. Both festivals will take place in the Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana on Thursday and Friday, 21 and 22 November 2013.

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