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Dia de São Martinho

Today is Dia de São Martinho, St. Martin's Day in Portugal -- a festive holiday celebrated across all of Portugal where family and friends gather for the first tastes of the new wines of the year.

Tonight everyone will eat both boiled and roasted chestnuts, grilled sausages and hams. To drink, there are new wines - "agua-pé" and "jeropiga". In villages, people come together to celebrate by a bonfire. Everyone talks about the crops and the harvests. In schools children learn about St. Martin's legend, draw and eat boiled chestnuts as a treat.

The most popular drink for the festival is água-pé, which translates to "foot water. Água-pé is made by adding water to the fermented skins and pulp of young grapes crushed by using traditional foot stomping methods. Água-pé is not available in shops but can be purchased from neighbors and local producers.

For a stronger libation, you can opt for Jeropiga. Jeropiga is made in the similar fashion of as água-pé, but adds aquardente (a locally made "fire water") to the mixture, making it quite a potent potable. Jeropiga is available for purchase from local shops and producers.

The tradition of celebrating the feast of St. Martin's Day is referred to as Magusto. Bonfires blaze, wine is passed around and revelers fill their bellies with roasted chestnuts and grilled sausage.

As we say in Portugal,

"É dia de São Martinho; comem-se castanhas, prova-se o vinho! "

It is St. Martin's Day, we'll eat chestnuts, we'll taste the wine!

#traditions #holidays #wine #portugal #grapes #harvest

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