Friday, November 13, 2009

San Martin / St.Martin

St. Martin's Day (Jum San Martin in Maltese) is celebrated in Malta on the Sunday nearest to November 11. Children are given a bag full of fruits and sweets associated with the feast, known by the Maltese as Il-Borża ta' San Martin, "St Martin's bag". This bag includes St. Martin's Bread (Ħobża ta' San Martin), walnuts (ġewż), hazel-nuts (qastan), almonds (lewż), chestnuts (ġellewż), figs (tin), oranges (larinġ), tangerines (mandolin), apples (tuffieħ), pomegranates (rummien) amongst other things. There is a traditional rhyme associated with this custom:

Ġewż, Lewż, Qastan, Tin
Kemm inħobbu lil San Martin.

(Walnuts, Almonds, Chestnuts, Figs
I love Saint Martin so much.)

A feast is celebrated in the village of Baħrija on the outskirts of Rabat (Malta), including a procession led by the statue of St. Martin. There is also a fair, and a show for local animals. San Anton School, a private school on the island, organises a walk to and from a cave especially associated with St Martin in remembrance of the day.

Several places in Malta are named after this saint, including San Martin on the outskirts of St. Paul's Bay, and Ġebel San Martin outside of Żejtun.


Juniper said...

he he we are of the same mind, I just posted about St. Martin at Capers! I forgot the poem though! thank you for reminding me and interesting to learn about the cave and the procession!
Do you mind if I link to your post as you do a far better job of including each fruit and nut in English and Maltese.

Dina said...

Juniper, feel free to link to my blog :)

* berzy * said...

Nice work Dina


Unknown said...

Gewz, Lewz, Qastin-Tin,
Min ihobb lil San Martin?

This is the version I remember.
Walnuts, Almonds, Chestnuts (and) Figs,
Who loves St. Martin?

First line, accent on Qas liaised with Tin (Teen) which produces a pleasant clickety rhythm.
I prefer this version because it sticks to the poetic rules regarding meter.
To anybody interested, I could provide phonetic sounds to the words - difficult but not impossible.

Antida said...

WOnderful DINA of CApers and Olives.
I am Maltija leaving in NY
Keep it up Dina