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Barbara Rolek

Nov. 11 Is St. Martin's Day Throughout Europe

By November 11, 2013

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Photo of Children Celebrating St. Martin's Day in Europe
Photo of Children Celebrating St. Martin's Day in Europe
Flickr by arbeer.de
St. Martin's Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 throughout Europe. It originated in France, to honor Martin, the 4th-century Bishop of Tours, and spread to Germany, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

In the old days, after all the religious aspects of the holiday were met, St. Martin's Day was a time to party hearty with lavish feasts before the strict fasting of Advent began. In agrarian societies, it also symbolized the end of field work and the beginning of forest work for the men and inside work for the women.

Today, it's a time for prayerful reflection, lantern-lit parades, festivals and special foods like St. Martin's Croissants.

Photo of St. Martin's Croissants
Photo of St. Martin's Croissants
2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
While Warsaw is the largest city and capital of Poland, Poznań is considered the capital of Greater Poland -- Wielkopolska Voivodeship -- and it was here the tradition of St. Martin's Croissants was born. Read more about:

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