Autumn is marked by harvesting, turning inward and calming down, and specially with the opening of the underworld at the end of October when the souls of ancestors flood this world from the 31st night into the November the 1st. At this time we begin to be more receptive to communicating with the deseased.
The whole autumn is coloured with a spirit of gratitude and analasys what we have done, what we are proud of or what we could have done better.
St. Martin’s Day is a kind of continuation of the autumn rites of fruit picking and the end of this period, which is called the autumn “mardi gras”. It is the time when the last harvest, including the grapes, is completed, followed by the peaceful anticipation of a new birth at the winter solstice. It is a time of transformation when the cider becomes wine.
As we calm down, we prepare to truly deepen and transform our negativities into constructive ideas.
Even today, they say, we have to do inventories and settle accounts with people at St. Martin’s Day.
At this time, millet porridge dishes are typical. In the olden days, the time around Martinovo was a quiet family holiday, but over time it became very commercialized.
The Church tried to overwrite the native holiday by St. Martin’s Day . St. Martin was elected a bishop, but did not want to accept this role, so he hid among the geese, but they betrayed him with their gagging. That is why today people “sacrifice” and so “punish” geese at this time.
At St. Martin’s Day, they place an apple on the barrel. If it dries nicely, the wine harvest will be good, but if it rots, it is necessary to prepare for hard times.
St. Martin’s Day marks the beginning of natural winter and is certainly closely associated with All Saints’ Day a few days before.
At DEDI holiday – in some parts of Europe people went to cemeteries and held large feasts on the graves, where they talked about the deceased, what good they had done and what they had not yet completed.
Among the Celts, we know the custom of people going door-to-door to beg for cakes for the souls of their ancestors, which to this day has degenerated into a modern version of masked walks and door-to-door candy requests.
In many parts of Europe, the custom of slaughtering a goose and then dripping its blood on the borders of the estate, house and door as well as the barn has been known since pre-Christian times. The goose was then ritually eaten.
The bird is a symbol of passage. It brings souls to the world, it takes souls to the afterlife.
We meet birds on ancient wedding breads, and bread birds were given to girls in slovenian Dolenjska region upon entering adulthood with their first period. The birds bring spring, fly away in autumn.
“Sacrificing” a bird in different ways at this time meant, for ancient people, a symbol of rebirth, of renewal as we turn forward in anticipation to a new life, a new birth, and new chapters.
However, if we truly understand the symbolical meaning of the custom, there is no need for a bloody copy-paste opf this doing. 🙂