The Feast of San Martin


On the 11th November, The Feast of San Martin (Dia de San Martin) takes place in the mountain villages and towns of Andalucia.

The Feast of San Martin, a traditional autumn fiesta called la matanza – literally meaning the killing – is a time for slaughtering pigs as this colder weather is perfect for storing pork and drying hams and sausages in preparation for the winter months ahead.

Be warned, this is a day that is not suitable for animal lovers or vegetarians as it begins with the killing of the pigs with the rest of the day spent butchering the carcass and stuffing and cooking sausages and black pudding.

About San Martin:

San Martin, also known as St. Martin, Martinstag or Martinmas, started out as a Roman soldier. He was baptized as an adult and went on to become a monk. It is understood that he was a kind man who led a quiet and humble life.

The most famous legend remembered is that he once cut his cloak in half and shared it with a beggar during a snowstorm, to save him from the cold. That same night he dreamt that Jesus was wearing the half-cloak Martin had given away. Martin heard Jesus say to the angels: “Here is Martin, the Roman soldier who is not baptised; he has clothed me.”

Other than the traditional slaughtering of the pigs, there is plenty of eating and drinking occurring on The Feast of San Martin making it another typical Spanish fiesta in the mountains!


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