A Goose and a Saint – The First Martinsgans Dinner

Written by Nicole Prybula.

In celebration of the holiday season and the German tradition of St. Martins Day, the GACC South hosted its first Martinsgans Dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta on November 13, 2014.

The Martinsgans feast, featuring roasted goose, potato dumplings, Stollen, and Donauwelle (a traditional German desert), was an authentic reflection of the Martinsgans traditions our German guests grew up on, and a delicious new experience for everyone else.

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The tradition of St. Martins Day and the Martinsgans feast began many years ago when Martin was declared a Saint after he demonstrated his generosity by cutting his cloak in half to share with a beggar during a snowstorm. However, hesitant to become a bishop, Martin hid in a goose pen to avoid being ordained. Naturally, Martin was betrayed by the cackling of the geese, and the goose became a symbol of St. Martin of Tours.

St. Martins Day also celebrates the end of the agrarian year and the beginning of harvesting. Traditionally, the feast coincides with thimg_8473e beginning of the 40 days of lent before Christmas.

Throughout the evening, guests exchanged holiday traditions and shared stories of their St. Martins Day activities in Germany, where as children, they gathered in the city streets to sing songs and participate in paper lantern parades.

Thank you to the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta for the gracious hospitality. We hope to make the Martinsgans Dinner an annual event, and wish you all a lovely holiday season!

View pictures here.

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