St. Martin is known in history for his generosity. The story goes that he cut his cloak in half to share with a beggar, saving the man from the cold.
In Central Europe, it has long been customary to eat a goose to celebrate St.Martin. The reasons why one eats goose are many. Firstly, many churches see this date as the start of Lent. For this reason, all the food that was left needed to be cooked that could not be eaten during Lent. Secondly, in many countries, the harvest would have been brought in around this time, and lords would collect their tithes. To celebrate a successful harvest, people often celebrated with a feast.
Nevertheless, today no one knows exactly where the custom of eating a goose comes from. There are several explanations. Farmers often paid their lords or landowners with geese, so there were always geese around. This made them a natural choice for a banquet.
Another explanation comes from the legends about St. Martin. Some say that Martin hid from his church when they wanted him to become a bishop. As a modest man, he hid in a goose pen. The loud squawking of the geese gave him away, and his church found him and made him a bishop.
Your Festive Table
To do the feast justice, a neat and beautiful table is certainly called for. Consider using a full place setting, with dishes, glasses, cutlery, napkins and decorations. Depending on how big your feast is, you may need several pieces. Here are our tips for a festively decorated table:
Glasses, crockery and cutlery should be uniform and in matching colors. This gives your table a bigger impact.
Arrange cutlery and glasses in their correct places. For example, the cutting edge of the knife should always face the plate. The tines of the fork should always point upwards. The knife and spoon go toward the right of the plate, to the left you should find the forks. Arrange your utensils for each course, allowing your guests to work inward.
Dessert utensils should be placed above the plate with the spoon on top and pointing to the left, and the fork underneath with its tines facing right.
A square plate is always a good idea because it gives each table a festive look and presents the food in an appealing manner.
Enjoy a holiday table that sets the scene, and the mood!