Croatia marks another ancient tradition today when the holy day of wine ‘Martinje’ is celebrated once again. Martinje, which is 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 celebrate the day again on Thursday.
Martinje 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.
In Zagreb, Zagorje, Slavonia, Dalmatia, Međimurje, Istria and other parts of the country there will also be wine christening ceremonies taking place on Thursday to celebrate as well as over the weekend with ‘Days of Martinje’ lasting this year until 15 November.
Police had announced they will be stepping up patrol over the period and have warned those who drink not to get behind the wheel and to organise alternative transport.