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Goose feasts on St Martin’s Day in Budapest

There are many known variations to the legend of St Martin, but one thing is for sure: we have been celebrating this day in different ways for more than a 1,000 years. 11 November has marked the beginning of winter since time immemorial. It is also the last holiday before the 40-day fast leading up to Christmas. This is when the annual agricultural work came to an end and when people first tasted the young wine and butchered the fattened geese. According to folktradition, people have to eat goose on this day because, as the saying goes: “Whoever doesn’t eat goose on St Martin’s Day will be starving for the rest of the year.” Today, restaurants offer a unique St Martin’s Day menu to help everyone avoid this fate. It goes without saying that there are several options in Budapest to duly celebrate St Martin’s Day.

BUDAPEST ADVENT AND CHRISTMAS FAIR – THE WEEK OF ST MARTIN’S DAY / 9-18 November, VÖRÖSMARTY SQUARE

Once again, the Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre is organising the Budapest Advent and Christmas Fair from 8 November and 1 January. The event – considered one of Europe’s 10 most beautiful fairs – will take place on one of the capital’s most charming squares. The fair celebrates its 21th birthday this year. As usual, it awaits citizens and foreign visitors with an abundance of culinary delights, quality artisanal and craft objects selected by a jury, as well as distinguished cultural and children’s programmes and performances. St Martin’s week will also take place as part of the event, which means that visitors can taste goose dishes and young wines between 8 and 17 November.

ST MARTIN’S DAY WINE FESTIVAL / 7-10 November, DANUBIUS HOTEL GELLÉRT

This year, the festival celebrates the birthday of Hungary’s iconic Gellért Hotel. Festival-goers can warm up with selected beers before enjoying the delights of the wine festival. Later on, the chefs at the wine dinner will celebrate Gellért Hotel’s century of hospitality – with wines from Hungary’s most esteemed wineries. Attendees will be able to taste hundreds of wines and quality pálinkas on an all-you-can drink basis, and the most revered goose dishes will also make an appearance. 

Danubius Hotel Gellért

Szent Gellért tér 2, 1114 Budapest

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NEW WINE AND GOOSE FESTIVAL ON ST MARTIN’S DAY / 9-10 November, SZENTENDREI SKANZEN

At Szentendrei Skanzen’s 2-day St Martin Day festival, you can immerse yourself in an authentic countryside celebration of St Martin’s Day and revive its old folk traditions. The furnaces will be turned on and you can sit by the fire, pluck geese, listen to tales, participate in handicraft sessions or sample roasted delicacies. Visitors will be welcomed by tasty goose dishes, autumnal treats, bread scones (kenyérlángos), chimney cake, artisanal young wines and lots of other culinary delights. On the festival stage, there is a back-to-back schedule of performers, so the audience will have the chance to enjoy plenty of music, folk tales and folk dancing. 

ST MARTIN’S DAY GOOSE ESPLANADE / 11 November, KLAUZÁL SQUARE MARKET

Boiled millet with goose giblets (ludaskása) and young wines at the city centre: at the Klauzál Square Market, which is located in the heart of Erzsébetváros, St Martin’s Day celebrations involve fantastic programmes and a gastro esplanade.

Klauzal Square Market Hall

1072 Klauzál tér 11.

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Photo: BFTK – Gastrohack

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