St. Martin's Eve

St. Martin's Eve (Estonia) (Mardi PŠev)

November 10
Traditionally, children in Estonia go from door to door at dusk on St. Martin's Eve in much the same way that American children trick-or-treat on Halloween. Their refrain is, "Please let us in because Mardi's fingers and toes are cold," and if they are not welcomed into the house and given treats, they retaliate by singing rude and uncomplimentary songs. Usually they're ushered into the kitchen, where such delicacies as apples, nuts, cookies, and raisin bread are handed out. Turnips—one of the few winter vegetables in Estonia—are another prized gift, as is viljandi kama, a kind of meal comprised of 15 different grains and dried vegetables mixed with sour milk, sugar, and cream that is regarded as a special treat. Well-to-do families give children bags of viljandi kama on Martin's Day to show how prosperous they are.
CONTACTS:
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Press and Information Department
Islandi valjak 1
Tallinn, 15049 Estonia
372-6-317-000; fax: 372-6-317-099
www.vm.ee
SOURCES:
BkFest-1937, p. 107

Celebrated in: Estonia

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