St. Martin’s Day
November 10, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
St. Martin’s Day is one of the merriest and most colourful holidays in the Estonian folk calendar. The days are getting shorter and nights longer. On St. Martin’s Eve you can encounter spooky, dirty and hairy creatures running around. Those are St. Martin’s beggars who bring noise, fun and laughter to any place they go. On this day children and adults dress in old shabby coats, smear their faces with soot and go door to door singing songs, asking riddles and wishing good luck and happiness to the families. At the Estonian Open Air Museum you can learn about St. Martin’s Day traditions and make a beggar’s mask for yourself.
Being a St. Martin’s beggar is not only about knocking on the doors and asking for treats.
At 11.15, 12.00, 12.45, 13.30 and 14.15 two beggars, Mart and Märt, will explain how a true St. Martin’s beggar or mardisant should act. They will introduce Martin’s beggars’ family members and teach St. Martin’s songs. At the end of the lesson, everyone will get St. Martin’s beggars’ diploma which gives the right to put on disguise and start going from house to house.
The housewife of Härjapea farm prepares tasty holiday dishes for treating St. Martin´s guests. Everyone knows that St. Martins’ beggars are paid with the best autumn produce and candies for their kind wishes.
Pulga farm is in a pother. St. Martin’s beggars are preparing to go to the village. Children and adults are sharing roles, looking for suitable costumes, practicing their voices and rehearsing St. Martin’s songs. Since the family of St. Martin’s beggars needs new members, anyone can join them. Beggar’s mask can be made in the kiln room.
By St. Martin’s Day all autumn work in the field needed to be finished, flax had to be cleaned and the grain winnowed. The Köstriaseme family has done their work well and, therefore there is no reason to feel embarrassed when St. Martin’s beggars come to check on the work results. The well-wishing St. Martin’s beggars are awaited in this family, all the more so as their visit brings about a lot of fun and laughter.
Lau village shop
For St. Martin’s Day everyone should have some candy at home, since you never know, when St. Martins’ beggars will knock on your door and ask to be let in. From Lau village shop you can buy hard candy, crunchy cookies, marshmallows, chocolates and many more to share with St. Martin’s beggars.
Kolu Inn offers traditional St. Martin’s Day dishes. At 12.30 and 13.30, the small St. Martin’s beggars from Rannapõngerjad kids’ folklore group ask everyone to sing along.