Last Friday we celebrated São Martinho at work. In general, the Portuguese are very settle celebrators. At least in Lisbon. I have heard that in other parts of Portugal, especially the North, the people go all festive on certain days. But Lisbon, tsirp tsirp (it's a cricket).
When I lived in Spain some years ago, I could not wrap my mind around how many church parties there could be. Honestly, every week there was a parade in some part of the city where people were dressed as in the 1800th Century dragging a huge cross around. And then eventually becoming completely and utterly wasted. First church, then drink.
The Lisbon experience has been different. On Halloween (Dia das Bruxas) people were dragged into the party. The festivity was showed into their partyless lives. But São Martinho is another story.
São Martinho is celebrated 11.11. There is a legend to tell the story, involving a beggar a cloak and good weather. The rest I already forgot... and to be honest, when I asked around nobody knew. People are just interested in castanhas, Jeropiga e Agua-pé. That is; chestnut, alcoholic beverage and other alcoholic beverage. Its the theme of the day. Eat roasted chestnuts and alcohol for the mix of flavors.
To be honest it has got something to do with trying out 'new wine' and summer of São Martinho, which means a come back summer for a couple of days. Which is true, the sun is shining from a clear blue sky currently.
Back to the Friday party. We organized a chestnut-man to come roast chestnuts outside of the office building. The chestnuts were wrapped in company branded paper and the service was paid by the company. It was a nice event. Anybody wanting to have roasted chestnuts could come get some. Nice marketing initiative, I must say...
If you come to Lisbon, there's roasted chestnuts in every corner of the city until March when the strawberry season starts. (Roughly estimated.) Try them, so goooood and full of nutrients.
Have a lovely Sunday ya'll.