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Martinje: Croatia celebrates the holy day of wine today

Croatians drink wine

ZAGREB, 11 November 2020 ‚Äď Croatia celebrates another ancient tradition today. The holy day of wine ‚ÄėMartinje‚Äô, also known as the Feast of Saint Martin, is celebrated every year on 11 November.¬†

Many towns and villages around Croatia, particularly in the hillside wine cellars around Dugo Selo where St. Martin is the patron saint, will be celebrating Martinje.

The celebration of ‘Martinje’ is entered in the Register of Protected Croatian Cultural Intangible Heritage.

It is an occasion when many winemakers and their friends give thanks to St. Martin for a good harvest. Martinje celebrates the day that must, or young wine matures into wine fit for drinking. 

These celebrations date back to pre-Christian times and mark the period when works outside of the home, in the fields, would come to an end and preparations for the winter would begin. In the wine-growing areas, this is the time that marks the end of all vineyard activities.

Because of the epidemiological situation and restrictions on gatherings, many gatherings at vineyards and taverns to celebrate the holy day will not take place. 

In Zagorje, Slavonia, Dalmatia and Istria wine christening ceremonies have been different this year but winemakers say they will make up for it next year.  

According to a recent survey, 85 percent of Croatians drink wine, whether occasionally or frequently.

 

As many as 78% of respondents said they preferred Croatian wines, as opposed to 7.6% who rather drank foreign wines, while 14.5% were undecided.

The survey revealed that 8% of Croatians drink wine on a daily basis, 21% once a week, 20.4% once a month, while 20.7% said they drink wine only on special occasions. 14.8% drink wine rarely and 15.2% never.

A total of 48.4% of respondents said they prefer red wine to white, which is preferred by 44.3% of those interviewed, while only 7.3% said they like pink wine (rosé) best.

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