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January 4, 2012

NAME DAYS


                   CELEBRATING NAME DAYS

      Most of the days in the Greek calendar we celebrate saints f.e. St. John's Day, St. George's Day, etc. and since in Greece 90% of the Greek population is Greek orthodox Christians who are named after a saint you can imagine that when we celebrate a saint the people named after him/her also celebrate. For example, on St. Dimitrios Day everybody named Dimitrios or Dimitra celebrate as well. These are called name days.

     Name days are just as (if not more) important than our birthdays and they are a much anticipated event each year. It is an occasion to receive visitors or go visiting.

The people who celebrate are the hosts who receive presents just like at birthdays and treat their visitors to sweets and drinks and sometimes even have big, fancy dinner parties. The greeting for someone celebrating his or her patron saint's day is, "Chronia Polla" which translates to a wish for "many years." 
    Greeks traditionally have very close family and friendship relationships and these celebrations help to bring us even closer.

   To learn if your name is included in the celebration list, or to see when a Greek friend's name day occurs, check this listing of name days by month:

http://greekfood.about.com/od/greeknamedaysbymonth/Calendar_of_Greek_Name_Days_by_Month.htm


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