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Portuguese popular tradition: São Martinho, Saint protector of sommelier and barrels’ makers.

Portuguese popular tradition: São Martinho, Saint protector of sommelier and barrels’ makers.

Culture, Food and Beverage

“No dia de São Martinho, vai à adega e prova o vinho!” (“During the day of São Martinho, go to the wine cellar and try the wine”).

Tomorrow November 11th, in the whole Portugal, we will celebrate a popular tradition coming from the ancient rural world: São Martinho. He is considered to be the protector of sommelier and barrel’s makers.

For this reason, in many cities of the country, including Lisbon, you can celebrate throughout the entire day. Some ways to do it are by drinking the new vinho tinto of the season and eating roasted castanhas at home or throughout the streets. You can do it with your family or with your friends.

The story

The tradition tells the story of São Martinho, a roman soldier who saw a poor and chilled begging man during a snowing day. Therefore, the soldier decided to stop and cut his own cape in two to help the man. At that moment, the snow ended and the sun started to shine.

Because of this legend, we have always called this day “the summer of São Martinho” in the middle of autumn.

The celebration

São Martinho’s celebration is very important for portuguese people and you can see it with your own eyes by walking through Lisbon. You can see this in Bairro Alto, Praça do Comercio, Alfama and so many other places. You will also discover a huge number of initiatives specifically organised for this day.

Surrounded by music, castanhas, copos de vinho tinto but also other typical drinks like água-pé, ginjinha and jeropiga are given everywere to make this day enjoyable.

If you have the desire to discover something more about the portuguese tradition, you must celebrate this day… like a real portuguese citizen!

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