Croatia celebrates an ancient tradition this weekend.
The holy day of wine ‘Martinje’, 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, have been celebrating Martinje this weekend.
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.
There have been many events this weekend which took place across the country to celebrate the day.
In Zagreb, Martin in Zagreb was held to mark the occasion. The event not only celebrates the day but helps promote local wineries in the area with promotions on the city’s main square.
In Zagorje, Slavonia, Dalmatia and Istria there were also wine christening ceremonies taking place this weekend.