, Martlemas
   This date, 11 November, is the feast of St Martin of Tours. In medieval and Elizabethan times it was an occasion for an ample feast of meat, because livestock which could not be fed through the winter was being slaughtered. Other joints were hung in the chimney to dry, like bacon, and were called Martlemas beef (or mutton). It was regarded as the end of the farming year, and in many places hiring fairs were held for farm-workers who wished to change jobs.
   In some areas, it was said that the weather on this date foretold that of the coming winter. In others, this could be deduced from markings on the breast-bone of a goose eaten on Matinmas Eve; white marks meant snow and dark ones hard frost, while the front part of the bone meant before Christmas and the back part afterwards.

A Dictionary of English folklore. . 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Martinmas — Mar tin*mas, n. [St. Martin + mass religious service.] (Eccl.) The feast of St. Martin, the eleventh of November; often called {martlemans}. [1913 Webster] {Martinmas summer}, a period of calm, warm weather often experienced about the time of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Martinmas — See quarter day. Collins dictionary of law. W. J. Stewart. 2001 …   Law dictionary

  • Martinmas — [märt′ n məs] n. [ME Martinmasse: see MARTIN1 & MASS1] Saint Martin s day, a church festival held on Nov. 11 …   English World dictionary

  • Martinmas — noun Etymology: Middle English martinmasse, from Saint Martin + Middle English masse mass Date: 14th century November 11 celebrated as the feast of Saint Martin …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Martinmas — /mahr tn meuhs/, n. a church festival, November 11, in honor of St. Martin. [1250 1300; ME Martinmasse. See Saint MARTIN, MAS] * * * …   Universalium

  • Martinmas — noun St Martins day, 11th November. A Scottish quarter day …   Wiktionary

  • Martinmas — 11 November. The feast day of St Martin of Tours (d. 397), a soldier, then monk and bishop and patron saint of France. The middle of November was the time for salting meat slaughtered for winter there being insufficient feed until the following… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

  • Martinmas — n. November 11th, church festival honoring Saint Martin; November 11th which is one of the quarter days in Scotland …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Martinmas — 11 November, a Scottish “Quarter Day” when rents and contracts fell due …   Scottish slang

  • Martinmas — [ mα:tɪnməs] noun St Martin s Day, 11 November …   English new terms dictionary

  • martinmas — n. Feast of St. Martin, Nov. 11, martilmas, martlemas …   New dictionary of synonyms