by Privathotel Lindtner

Martinsgoose at the Privathotel Lindtner Hamburg

martinsgans

The Martinsgoose

Every year in November and especially on the 11th, St Martin's Day, we traditionally eat St Martin's goose. But where does the custom come from and what do geese have to do with St Martin?

Where does the tradition come from?

St Martin's Day is the feast day of the patron saint of beggars, soldiers, armourers and pets. It is held in honour of St. Martin, the third Bishop of Tours. Legend has it that Martin served in the Roman army as a young man. One night, he came across a freezing beggar who asked him for a charitable gift. As he had nothing else with him to give the poor man, Martin cut his cloak in half with his sword and gave the beggar one half. Later, Jesus appeared to the young soldier in a dream, dressed in the half of the cloak that Martin had given the beggar. This revelation prompted Martin to leave the army and dedicate his life to the Christian faith and the church.

In this role, Martin achieved great popularity among the population, whose insistence even persuaded the initially sceptical clergy to consecrate him bishop on 4 July 372. When he died on 8 November 397 AD, the people showed great sympathy. His funeral took place on 11 November with a public procession. Over the years, this day has become firmly established as a day of remembrance. Today's lantern processions, which are organised by children at this time of year, probably also date back to this procession.

What do geese have to do with all this?

Legend has it that Martin felt unworthy to be appointed bishop. So he hid in a stable of geese to avoid the election. However, the geese began to chatter loudly, revealing his whereabouts to the enthusiastic crowd. From then on, the geese had to atone for their betrayal by being used for the feast every year.

However, this legend only emerged many hundreds of years after Martin's death. It is much more likely that the St Martin's goose goes back to a feudal duty levy, the so-called Martinsschoß, which was levied at this time. As people didn't have much at that time, and least of all money, geese were often given to the feudal lord. This may have given rise to the term "St Martin's goose". When the tax was abolished in later times, but the name still existed, it made sense to prepare the goose as a feast instead of giving it away. However, we do not know whether this is true.

Traditional St Martin's goose at the Privathotel Lindtner

At the Privathotel Lindtner, the aroma of crispy roasted St Martin's goose wafts through the hotel until 6 January. A treat not to be missed. Our grass geese come from the small rural community of Weddelbrook and the secret of their flavour lies in their vegetarian diet, as they feed exclusively on grass from the pasture.

Reserve your favourite table in good time and enjoy our crispy goose - straight from the oven and carved by the chef at your table! We look forward to your visit.

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