ST MARTIN’S Days are traditionally celebrated in Slovak villages and towns and November 11 is the customary day to taste recently pressed wine and gorge oneself on fattened geese.
But this year the festive days were also celebrated as a spiritual occasion in the third year of a renewed tradition that featured special masses at St Martin’s Cathedral in Bratislava dedicated to the church’s namesake. The special masses were held from November 11 to 13 at 18:00, and culminated with a 10:30 Sunday morning mass.
Bratislava Archbishop Stanislav Zvolenský told the SITA newswire that St Martin’s has a new fundraising programme and its proceeds would be used to rebuild a bridge destroyed by this year’s flooding in Slovakia. He said the purpose of the special masses and the fundraising was to show that St Martin worked to build bridges among people.
The more secular version of the tradition offered the sampling of young wines at Bratislava’s Old Market (Stará Tržnica) and at stalls set up within Primate's Square and Rudnay Square in front of St Martin’s Cathedral. These St Martin markets also featured the products of Slovak craftsmen.
Bratislava Mayor Andrej Ďurkovský blessed this year’s wine on November 12 at St Ladislaus Chapel within the Primate's Palace.
Bratislava Vice-mayor Anna Dyttertová told the TASR newswire that the message of St Martin’s Days is strengthening the awareness and feelings of Bratislavans towards their traditions and in showing their unity with the Small Carpathian wine region.
15. Nov 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská