St. Martin Street Name Day
On November 11th, the people of Poznań have two occasions to celebrate: Poland’s Independence Day and the name day of St. Martin, the most popular saint of the city next to Peter and Paul, its patrons. Formerly a Roman legionary, hermit and the bishop of Tours was known for his charity. The story has it that he shared his cloak with a beggar, as the other half belonged to the legion in which he served. Thus the saint gave all he could to one in need. The street bearing St. Martin’s name is one of the principal thoroughfares of the city. It was built in the 18 th century, when areas outside the city walls were incorporated into the town. Its significance as a communication route increased substantially in the early 20th century, when the former Imperial Castle (today’s building of CK ZAMEK) had been built. St. Martin Street Name Day has been celebrated in Poznań since mid-1990s. The high point of the programme is a parade headed by the saint himself who sets out on a horse after a mass at St. Martin’s church and, having ridden down the street, is greeted by city authorities and received the symbolic keys to the gates of Poznań. Thus one of the ways to spend the afternoon and evening on that day is to visit the fair in front of the Castle, watching open-air shows and concerts or taking a tour of ZAMEK Culture Centre. The Name Day always ends with a live concert by a major performer or group, followed by a firework display which crowns the celebrations.