Saint Martin’s Day

I still remember how we all did a “procession” through our neighborhood with our self-made lanterns and sang St Martins songs on the 11th of November when I was in kindergarten …

In Venice they foster a similar tradition: The kids “beat St Martin” (battere San Martino) after school on the 11th of November. Don’t worry, it’s not a kind of Piñata, but also a kind of procession, but with pans, kettles and wooden spoons (placed at their disposal by their kind moms – by choice or not) through their own neighborhood.

The children go from house to house/shop to shop and sing one of the St Martin’s Day songs, playing on their kitchen-”instruments”, getting sweets or money in return for their singing. Kind of a Venetian Halloween; and this is one of the songs:

San Martin xe nda’ in soffita

a trovar ea so novissa,

so novissa no ghe gera

san Martin xe ‘nda col cul par tera,

e col nostro sacchetin,

cari signori xe san martin,


St Martin goes on the attic

To find his girlfriend

But his girlfriend wasn’t there

St Martin fell on his a**

And we are here with our tiny bags

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s St Martin’s Day

Give us your money!!

On the occasion of St Martin’s Day the kids (and adults) get a cookie shaped like St Martin riding his horse. You’ll find the recipe below:

San Martino
San Martino

Ingredients Shortcrust: 250gr flour 125gr butter 2 egg yolks 100 gr icing sugar lemon zest salt

Combine flour, butter, egg yolks, icing sugar, lemon zest, salt in a big bowl. Leave in the fridge for one hour. Roll out the douth (1 cm thick) and cut out a rider on his horse (best prepare a stencil before). Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius and bake for about 20 minutes.

Decorate with chocolate, smarties and other sweets you like.

This post is also available in: German