The 11th of November or Saint Martin’s Day in Croatia is known as Martinje and marks the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of harvesting. On this day the grape traditionally must be “baptised” and turned into wine in a joyful ceremony.
Saint Martin was a French bishop from Tours who is worshiped all around Europe as the patron saint of winemakers. Martinje‘s feast is a ritual of wine baptism that has been celebrated since the 17th century in the northern parts of Croatia, especially the rich wine-producing hills around Zagreb. The baptism is performed by someone (usually a host) who dresses up as a bishop and blesses the wine. Another person is chosen as the godfather of the wine. The foods traditionally eaten on Saint Martin’s Day are roasted goose and home-made ‘mlinci’.
In Samobor, charming small town near Zagreb, Martinje will, for the fifth time, be celebrated at the town’s main square from 11 am till 1 pm.