Name Days in Greece are celebrated even more than birthdays, opposite to all other countries. On someone’s name day, there is an open house held and a feast is laid on for everyone who wants to come. Neighbors and friends or relatives usually call and can visit the house, without waiting for an official invitation.

Greek Name Days And Greek Orthodox culture

According to the Greek Orthodox Calendar, each day of the year is dedicated to the memory of a saint or martyr; usually more than one on the same day. Each saint has his special feast day; on that day Greeks also celebrate their name days, which is the feast day of the saint after which they are named.

Floating Name Days

The vast majority of Greek names, both male and female, are celebrated on the same day every year; there are though a few that are the so-called floating name days or movable days. These days are associated with Easter, therefore you should always check the year’s calendar to see these specific days. The most common floating Greek name days are Easter (when Anastasios and Anastasia are celebrating), the day of Agios Georgios (St George) and more.

In some cases, some names have more than one name day. The name Maria, for instance, is one of them. Maria and Marios celebrate on August 15th or November 21st – it’s either on the day of Dormition, or the Presentation of Virgin Mary. Usually, in this case, most people tend to choose when they want to celebrate their name day; however, local traditions and customs can also influence their choice, so you cannot rely on what you have read.