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Remembrance and Martinmas Day

Armistice Day

At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 the Allies and the Central Powers ended WWI with the signing of an armistice agreement. People remember the millions of soldiers who died in the two World Wars and in other wars by wearing a poppy and taking part in a two minutes silence at 11am.

Click here to find out more about Armistice Day

Martinmas Day

The Feast of St Martin, Martinmas was a time for celebrations with great feasts and hiring fairs, at which farm labourers would seek new posts.

It was also the time when autumn wheat seedling was usually completed in many places, including the south of Derbyshire. Here it was the farmer's custom to provide a cakes-and-ale feast for workers. These special cakes were made with seeds and whole grains, and called Hopper Cakes.

Tradition food eaten on Martinmas

Beef was the day's traditional meat dish.

Martinmas today

Since 1918 the 11th has been commemorated as Armistice Day, and all remnants of the old Martinmas celebrations have disappeared.

Weather-lore, beliefs and sayings

If the wind is in the south-west on St Martins Day (11th), it will stay there right through to Candlemas in February, thus ensuring a mild and snow-free winter.

"Wind north-west at Martinmas, severe winter to come."

"If ducks do slide at Martinmas
At Christmas they will swim;
If ducks do swim at Martinmas
At Christmas they will slide

"Thunder in November means winter will be late in coming and going"

"If the geese at Martin’s Day stand on ice, they will walk in mud at Christmas."

Ice before Martinmas,
Enough to bear a duck.
The rest of winter,
Is sure to be but muck!"


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