If you look at a Finnish calendar, you’ll see on each day of the calendar names of people in the corner. This represents the celebrated names on that particular day. In Finland (similar to some other countries in Finland) they celebrate name days throughout the year.
Courtesy of Finnguide.fi
“The names used and their date placement in the calendar are often associated with religious names, religious days, national historical personalities and national historical events. Normal country specific Christian names, and even new Christian names which have been integrated and accepted into a countries list of nationally recognized names, are also given their own position in the calendar.
The official Name Days Almanac of Finland is published by the Almanac Office at the University of Helsinki and contains all Finnish official Name Days lists (Finnish, Swedish, Sami and Greek Catholic). The University of Helsinki Almanac office, was established in 1994 and has a staff of three astronomers.”
If you feel Wikipedia is a good source of information they discuss the origination of name days from medieval times.
“During medieval times name days were of little significance in the Nordic countries, except for the celebration of patron saints for various guilds. A more widespread celebration of name days began in the 17th century, at first in the royal court and among aristocracy, but successively also among the general population. The Church of Sweden promoted celebration of name days over birthdays, as the latter was seen as a pagan tradition.”
From my experience, kids are celebrated more on their name days than adults. This is just what I’ve seen from my personal experience with my boyfriend’s family. His nephew will get a card and a small present on his name day. Some people celebrate with flowers and other gifts from friends and family.
To view the full list of Finland’s Namedays check out the full calendar here.
Today, October 6th, 2007, Hyvää Nimipäivää to Minttu and Pinja