Mortensaften / St. Martin's Evening
Mortensaften 10. November is celebrated in memory of the bishop Martin of Tours, who really did not want to become a bishop and hid himself in a goose sty. This meant death to the noisy geese!
Morten Bisp/ Martin of Tours:
|Martin of Tours, fresco, Elmelunde church, Møn/foto:gb|
Martin was also called the apostel of Gaul. He died in Candes in France 8 November 397 and was buried in Tours 11 November. A big church was built over his grave and he was later canonized. His death date became his Saint's day, which is still celebrated all over Europe.
The story about Martin of Tours and the geese was printed in Denmark for the first time in 1616, a long time after the reformation. The St. Martin survived the reformation with a new Danish name: Morten Bisp. The night of 10th november, now called Morten's Evening, was appropriate, because November was perfect for a party, since the slaughter period in November was one of few times, where people had fresh meat before winter. Else they had salted food for months.
Goose was food for rich people :
|Medieval feast/ wikipedia|
|Italian kitchen,Ferrara 1549, Runeberg|
16th century: The goose is one of the earliest domestic animals and one of the most important slaughter animals, although it was always food for the rich. The ordinary farmer's family might breed geese, but they sold them in the next town after having taken wings and feathers (for brooms and quills) and the down ( for duvets and pillow stuffing). They also kept the head, neck and craw to themselves for a good portion of giblet soup. If they kept a whole goose, the breast meat was removed and smoked as a cold cut for guests.
|Velbekomme - Mortensand|
copyright grethe bachmann
source: kristendom.dk; wikipedia.org.; Dagligt liv i Norden i det 16. århundrede, runeberg.org.; 2640 online portalens almanak og kalender.
photo: grethe bachmann;
photo copies from wikipedia
drawing: Italian kitchen Ferrara in 1549, Dagligt liv i Norden i det 16 århundrede, runeberg.org.