Saint Martin Day 2019
In Poznań, November 11th - Polish Independence Day - takes on a very special form. One of Poznań’s main streets - Święty Marcin Street - celebrates its name day. A colourful parade merrily rolls through the city, with both locals and many tourists enjoying the world famous Saint Martin’s Croissants. This exceptional holiday has become Poznań’s trademark in comparison to other cities as well as a proof that such occasions can and should be celebrated not only in a formal way.
November 11th is a date well known in the region. While the rest of the country gloriously celebrate the Independence Day, Poznań dances to the rhytm of merry music and eats loads of the best (and only) Saint Martin Croissants in the world.
The legend says that in Medieval times generous Roman soldier (later Saint Martin), riding through Poznań handed his coat to some poor man which is exactly all he could donate. At the same time his horse lost his horse shoe and one Poznań baker decided to grant the poors just as the good soldier. He created the pastry in a shape of the horse shoe and this is how the Saint Martin croissants have been made. The other version treats about pre-Christian tradition during which pagans handed baked goods in a shape of bullock horns to their gods. Anyway, in 19th century the tradition has been revived. Croissants were being bought by rich, while poors got them for free.
It is worth knowing that today's Saint Martin Street has been named after the village called Saint Martin and not the patron himself. Still, in 1993 Poznań decided to celebrate the November 11th in a huge way and since then the form of the festival stays unchanged. In 2019, after couple of years, the festival comes back to its original place. After the renovation the street is ready to host the colorful market again. Let's see how the new space will serve the purpose.
Celebration and Saint Martin Croissants
The main element is a cheerful parade marching through the street. Among the participants you can find Saint Martin himself and right behind him: orchestras, fire eaters, jugglers, acrobats, dancers and all the other strangly fun characters. At the end of the march, Saint Martin meets the President of Poznań to have the keys to the city handed. Then the crazy fun starts and market fills with handicraft, wine, food and, of course, Saint Martin Croissants. The dough is semi french. The filling is made of white poppy seeds, orange peel, raisins, vanilla. The top is covered with thick glaze and nuts. If anyone wants to make them - needs the special certificate because the pastry is on the national heritage list. Even though can be found all year long, on this one day they tempt us on every step. The final point of the day is an interesting concert and (at least last few years) the fireworks. We will see how all this work this year.
10-20 | a market of Saint-Martin Croissants (Al. Niepodległości - the fragment from ul. Fredry to ul. Święty Marcin)
around 13.30 | start of the march (route: ulica Piekary – ulica Święty Marcin – parking of CK Zamek – plac Mickiewicza)
14.15 | concert of Kraków Street Band
18.15 | concert of the winner of Gramy U Siebie competition - Izzy and The Black Trees
19.30 | concert of Pablopavo i Ludziki
21.00 | GRAND FINALE
Saint Martin Croissant Museum
In the meantime there is no better occasion to visit the Saint Martin Croissant Museum. In this terrific place you can find out more about the legend, making process and you are free to participate in the preparation yourself. In the end there is a tasting.
The shows are scheduled and even though on November 11th more shows are planned it is worth checking the website and booking a spot, just to make sure we won't be dissapointed. The English version of the shows does exist.