Wednesday, April 23, 2008
In my in-laws' family there is the concept of having a "Name Day" or "Name's Day." There are many cultures that use the same type of celebration: specific days of the year are set aside to celebrate specific saints in most Christian-based religions. The most obvious example would be March 17th to celebrate Saint Patrick.
Today is the Feast of Saint George, April 23rd. This means that those who are named after Saint George would be celebrating their Name Day also known as Saint's Day.
In some countries, the Name Day garners more celebrating than the Birth Day. In Greece, where my in-laws are from, a person celebrating their Name Day has to serve as host to their guests. This means that instead of receiving gifts they give gifts, usually in the form of hosting an open house or taking immediate family members out for a meal.
Also in the Greek tradition is this twist: if your Name Day falls during the Lenten period (which is now since Greek Easter is April 27, 2008), then the celebration is carried over until Easter Monday, the day after Easter.
Does your family have a tradition of celebrating Name Day?