Today is my name day. When I was a child I loved name days and always got a small present or flowers from my mom. When I started to work we celebrate “National day of Ilze” with the collages. There are lot’s of Ilze in Latvia (Jānis is even more popular!).

A bit of a statistics:

Resident population:1 968 957

  • women: 1 064 658
  • men: 904 299

Given name Ilze: 12 188 (1 of 87 is Ilze)

Given name Jānis: 57 681 (1 of 16 (!!!!) is Janis)

A bit of tradition:

Name days (LV: vārda diena) are settled on certain dates. Each day is a name day (except February 29). Usually, we have up to four names each day. Those who do not have name days in ordinary calendars like all my three girls: Nelle, Linna and Helmī Saule can celebrate on May 22 and, if they have their name in an extended calendar or in the church calendar, on the date listed there.

Celebrations are very much like birthday celebrations. It is popular to celebrate name days in one’s workplace. The one that has a name day prepares snacks for well-wishers, and during the day colleagues arrive one after another with flowers, sweets, and small presents to greet him. It is normal to come to a name day celebration without an invitation. At school one is expected to arrive with candy for classmates and teachers. Celebrating name days at home is similar to celebrating a birthday, usually, one will eat cake with household members and receive flowers and presents.

Happy name day for me,


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