My girls’ Namedays

Here in Latvia, we have such thing as Name day. Imagine all the “Latvian” names (it’s not only Latvian, I would say common names in Latvia) are written in the calendar. What about those whose name isn’t written on the calendar. There is also one day (and that is May 22) when those who don’t have names written in the calendar can celebrate his/her name day.


All my daughters’ names aren’t traditional Latvian names, except Helmī – that one is old Livs (Livonian) name but only 2 has left in Latvia, so no separate name day. Only 2 Nelles in Latvia, 24 Linnas, and one Helmī – Saule. I’m happy to say my girls’ names aren’t on the calendar so we can celebrate them in one day – May 22! Like we did yesterday!


41 thoughts on “My girls’ Namedays

  1. Lovely. I’m used to name days in Romania but there is no day for those whose name is not in the ‘calendar’ – in this case the Orthodox calendar. Seems a great idea for Latvia. It would be crazy in Uk as population is so big and number of different names enormous. Those three girls are really waiting for that ‘cake’ 😃

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    1. Yes, I know about Orthodox calendar as well. For example, my mom is Mārīte, but that is not in Orthodox calendar (and she is cristened in Orthodox) and so she had Marīte but later on looking in churches books her name Mārīte is in ( ) and other name added – Maria 🙂 So, sometimes I greet her on Maria day and she gets grumpy 🙂

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  2. I am Polish and we have the same tradition in Poland, except that I have never heard about the 22 May thing. What a great idea!
    BTW, in Poland, some people are very particular about celebrating their name day and expect you to remember to come over with flowers or a small present. The problem is that popular names have a name day a few times a year and there is a correlation between the birthday and the name day date you celebrate. So, in fact, owning a calendar will not help you much if you don’t know the rule (like me) AND the person’s birthday. Madness! I remember from my childhood that people sometimes would ask a newly met person when they celebrate their name day, right after they exchanged names. It seemed quite natural to me back then, but it’s rather ridiculous if I think about it now.
    Anyway, best wishes to the girls! Beautiful names they have!

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    1. Anna, thank you for the comment! I’m surprised! Never heard of names having day few times a year!! Our calendar has only one day per name and May 22 for those who aren’t on the calendar. I’m really surprised, cause I thought that nameday is for Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania!

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        1. 🙂 And it won’t be easy for me to remember cause our calendar won’t have your name 🙂 All calendars that we can buy in shops are with name days and so we know 🙂


    1. Really!? OMG! Cause Helmī is such an old name here in Latvia. Only two have it – my girl and lady (age 68). Is this name popular in estonia!? We have Helma and Hanna but not Helmī 🙂


      1. According to the statistics there are about 600 Helmi’s in Estonia 🙂 Most people who have that name are around 70-80 years old, so among younger people it’s not very popular. It was my father’s grandmother name and Katrina was my mother’s grandmother name, so they gave her both 🙂

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        1. Interesting! Good to know that Helmī is also Estonian name. My grand grandmother was Estonian by name Anna and surname was Silavellu or something like that :). I also know that Linna is “city” in your language 🙂

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    1. 🙂 You can celebrate October 13 when it’s in USA calendar. Everyone in the USA says they don’t have calendar but I have site where there are namedays for Latvia, Estonia, Poland, etc.. .and USA too 🙂

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  3. I have not heard of this before. I ignorantly thought it was another way of saying birthday. A lovely tradition! Happy name day to your gorgeous girls! Hope they all have a great day!


    1. 🙂 Interesting! Birthday is one thing and Name day is something different. Name day is like all Ilzes celebrate in one day. Usually, people call and ask if they can come, but nameday is when you have cake and coffee ready if someone shows up with flowers 🙂

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  4. My husband is Greek and they celebrate name days more than birthdays. Unfortunately for him, his birthday is December 23 and name day December 25. Not so much fun for him with Christmas right there but we make it work. My name day on the Orthodox calendar is July 25….much better.

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