Boldog Névnapot! Happy Name Day!
Hungarians celebrate birthdays and name days! Name days are special days celebrated on a day designated for particular names. These days are picked mainly based on religious traditions and historical events and the day is celebrated in the workplace and among friends. The traditional gift for women is a flower arrangement and men are usually given a bottle of wine. Children may receive a small toy. The nice thing about recognizing name days is there is no need to focus on someone’s age and it gives a great opportunity for a party!
You may not have been given a Hungarian name at birth, but you can still incorporate this special tradition in your home! Have your family members pick out their favorite Hungarian name and adopt it as their nickname. (There is a link to a Name Day calendar below.) Then start celebrating your Name Day. This is a great way to introduce or reinforce the beauty of the Hungarian language and Hungarian customs into your home. A way to celebrate a Name Day might involve reading a Hungarian folk-tale, cooking a special Hungarian recipe together, or giving a special gift with a Hungarian theme to reinforce your Hungarian heritage. Use your imagination!
The Name Day for Elizabeth is November 19th and we have a lot of people in our family with “Elizabeth” as a part of their name. My mom always made a special point to call me on that day once I moved away from home. When I was younger, I was surprised to learn my friends did not have or celebrate a name day because I did not realize it was a “Hungarian” thing. Even though we don’t do much for name days, it is a fun little tradition to recognize it.
You can look for names on this web based Name Day Calendar and start celebrating!
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