Rigas Diena #14: ‘Name Day’ Tradition

Today is Malda and Melita´s name day. Karlina and Lina celebrated it yesterday. And tomorrow, this one I´m sure you know!, is Valentine´s (name) day.

Latvia is one of the countries that celebrate ‘Name Day’, a tradition similar to the birthday that consists of commemorate the day related to the one´s given name. In Portugal it is not celebrated, so the first time I heard about this tradition I was living in Macedonia.

I was doing European Voluntary Service in a youth center and I was invited for a party. At that moment, to be honest, I thought it was a birthday party: everyone was offering gifts to this youngster I knew from the youth center. And then, I understood it was his name day. The enthusiasm is the same as in a birthday.


This week I remembered this tradition because I bought an agenda. In general, I never use agenda but with so much work to plan, some trips to prepare for the next months and all the subjects to study, it was the best option, instead of asking A. the same questions (over and over again).

I bought my agenda and now, each day, I can see what name is celebrated. And I discovered something really interesting: February 29th is the only day that doesn´t have a name associated. However, as a latvian friend told me, it is the most popular date for those who don´t have a name day to commemorate.

So now I also have a name day to celebrate. And PedroL was already marked in my agenda!

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Rigas Diena’ is a collection of 16 chronicles about my experience of living 9 months in Riga. Download it for free in a pdf that also includes a guide to make you get the best of the latvian capital.

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