What is a Name Day? (Imieniny)
Elizabeth

So, what is a Name Day?

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Since the Middle Ages, the Calendar of Saints, is a Christian method for associating each day with the name of one or more saints (usually one male and one female). In years past, Catholic and Orthodox families in Eastern Europe, would often name babies after a saint who’s name day was closest to the babies birth day.

Today in Poland, all local calendars have the names of two saints at the bottom of each day. Some names occur on more than one date in the calendar. If such is the case with yours, your name day would occur on the first name day that falls after your birthday.

Name days are often celebrated with a small dinner party including family and friends. The common celebratory wishes are”Wszytkiego najlepszego” (all the best) or “Sto Lat!” (A hundred years!). It is common to give gifts of chocolate, flowers or wine.

Name days are so important that each day, the names of the day will be displayed at the local transit stations and in front of flower shops (so you don’t forget to buy a gift!). Name Days are also celebrated in other countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece.

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We are Damian and Elizabeth, a Polish-American couple, and we are excited to share Poland with you! We have traveled around the world and seen many places but find ourselves most inspired by our home countries.


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