Martinmas Eve, Celebration of the Goddess of Reason
The old Pagan festival of Nincnevin, later Martinmas Eve, honored the Goddess Diana and her entourage. At Martinmas, the Germans celebrate this time by feasting on wild geese and then using the breast bone of the last goose to predict the weather for the coming months. It is believed that if the breast bone be fair and clear when the flesh has been eaten off it, the weather will be cold and full of hard frosts. However, if the breast bone is dark then the winter will be full of rain, snow, and sleet but warmer overall.
During the French Revolution, this day was celebrated with a parade through the streets of Paris. A young woman was chosen to represent the Goddess, and led the processional to the cathedral of Notre Dame, considered a center of learning, whereupon she was presented with a crown of oak leaves. It was hoped that the festivities would make the people aware of the importance of learning.