Country Holidays

Names Day

Celebrations are an essential part of human culture, and commemorating an individual’s name day is a perfect example. Name days are celebrated worldwide, but they are more common in Europe and Latin America. This article discusses the origin of name days, their significance, and how they are celebrated worldwide.

What is Names Day?

A name day is a tradition of celebrating a person’s given name or their patron saint’s feast day. In many cultures, name days are as important as birthdays. Name days are often celebrated in addition to a person’s birthday, although some people choose to celebrate one or the other.

Origin of Names Day

The concept of name days began in ancient Greece when people celebrated the birth of Greek gods and goddesses. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, the tradition evolved to celebrate the feast days of saints. The practice was especially prevalent in the Catholic Church, where saints were revered and celebrated on their respective feast days. Today, name days are still celebrated in many Catholic countries and regions.

How is Names Day Celebrated?

Name day celebrations vary from region to region. Some countries have a specific date set aside for each name, while others follow the Catholic Church’s calendar of saints. In some cultures, name days are celebrated with a big feast or party, while in others, it is a more intimate affair with family and friends.

Differences between Names Day and Birthday

Name day celebrations differ from birthday celebrations in that they are tied to a particular name rather than a specific date. For instance, if your name is John, your name day will always be on the same day, regardless of when you were born. On the other hand, your birthday is a celebration of the day you were born, regardless of your name.

Significance of Names Day

Name days are significant because they celebrate an individual’s identity and their connection to their name’s origin. For instance, if your name is Catherine, your name day is celebrated on St. Catherine’s feast day, and you would be reminded of the saint’s virtues and qualities associated with your name.

Names Day Traditions

Name day traditions vary across different cultures. In Greece, it is customary to give a small gift or card to the person whose name day it is. In Sweden, it is common to have coffee and cake with friends and family. In some cultures, it is customary to give a small amount of money to the person whose name day it is.

Famous Names Days around the World

Some of the most well-known name days around the world include:

  • Saint Patrick’s Day (March 17th)
  • Saint George’s Day (April 23rd)
  • Saint Nicholas Day (December 6th)
  • All Saints’ Day (November 1st)
  • Saint Valentine’s Day (February 14th)


Name days are a unique and significant tradition that celebrates an individual’s identity and connection to their name’s origin. Name days have a long history, and they continue to be celebrated worldwide.


Quick facts
When is it?

What’s the date pattern?First Monday of March
What’s the official website?
Tagged as
  • Names
  • People & Relationships
What’s the hashtag?#FunFactsAboutNamesDay
Who founded it?Jerry Hill
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