St. Martin's Day marked the first day of Advent in the past. Back then Advent, like Lent, was a fasting time. Now it is seen as a period of reflection and preparation for the coming of the Christ Child, and today fasting is done only on Christmas Eve and involves eating light meals and fish rather than abstaining from all food."One very cold day, near the city gate of Amiens, France, Martin of Tours saw a beggar who was freezing. He took his sword and cut his cloak in two, giving one half to the beggar. The next night, he dreamed he had given his cloak to Jesus.
Here are some good sites about St. Martin/Martinmas:
Feast of St.Martin (Martinmas)
Liturgical Year: Martinmas Traditions
St. Martin's Day: The Magic of Eleven
Eating a Goose on St. Martin's Day
The Celebration of St. Martin
Interesting that St. Nicholas, like St. Martin, rides a white horse!
We're having turkey tonight, not goose, but it's close! :-)