St. Martin And The Geese

St. Martin and the Geese

November 7, 2017

Allan Stevo

Legend tells of a Roman soldier on horseback coming across a man begging alongside the road. The beggar was poorly clothed and shivering in the cold.  The Roman soldier, who was awaiting his baptism, upon seeing the beggar was moved to draw his sword, cut his own cloak in half and to give half of it to the shivering beggar.  That soldier would come to be known as Martin of Tours and his legendary kindness would be immortalized in tales and art throughout Europe.

The time on and around St. Martin’s Day – November 11 – is celebrated by some Slovaks with a feast of roast goose, or “husacie hody.”  The day is a significant one throughout Europe and has a long history – going back hundreds of years, in celebration of St. Martin’s life, a life that began near present-day Bratislava.

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Allan Stevo writes on Slovak culture at He is from Chicago and spends most of his time traveling Europe and writing. You can find more of his writing at If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to like it on Facebook or to share it with your friends by email. You can sign up for emails on Slovak culture from 52 Weeks in Slovakia by clicking here.

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