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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Sweden Series at SwedishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Swedish holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25, St. Martin's Eve. In Swedish, it’s called Mårtensafton.
St. Martin's Eve is a holiday celebrated primarily in Skåne, a county in southern Sweden, on November 10.
During this lesson, you will learn what St. Martin's Eve is all about and how it is celebrated.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Do you know what the main ingredient is in the so-called “black soup”?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
In the Swedish calendar, Martin's name-day is November 11. Martin refers to the Saint Martin of Tours, or Martin av Tours, who was buried on this day in the year 397. However, Martin’s actual name day is the day before, on November 10, which is also Martin Luther's birthday. Until the 1900s, Martin Luther’s Day was celebrated on November 10, and Martin Bishop himself on November 11. St. Martin's Eve is celebrated on November 10.
Saint Martin of Tours was originally a Roman soldier from what is now Hungary. Residents of the city of Tours wanted to make him a bishop against his will. To avoid this responsibility, he hid himself among a flock of geese, but the geese honked and revealed where he was hiding. Despite everything, he become a bishop after all. Therefore, as punishment for the geese, you eat goose, or gås, on St. Martin's Eve because they exposed him. The incident is said to have taken place on November 11, 371.
A classic goose dinner consists of black soup, or svartsoppa, as an appetizer, then the goose, and finally, apple cake for dessert. The menu was created by a restaurateur at the restaurant Piperska muren in Stockholm during the 1850s. The combination became popular and other restaurants were quick to follow.
It’s traditionally believed that if there is snow on St. Martin's Day, there will be no snow on the ground on Anders' Day on November 30.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Do you know what the main ingredient is in the so-called “black soup”?
The soup is cooked with goose blood, or gåsblod! You will also need broth, syrup, liqueur, brandy, vinegar, cloves, ginger, and allspice. You serve the soup with cooked apples, prunes, foie gras sausage, and boiled goose giblets. The taste is described as a mixture of gingerbread and black pudding.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Would you be willing to eat black soup?
Leave us a comment letting us know at SwedishPod101.com. And we'll see you in another series!