Russian Saints

Name Day is a special holiday, which is known in Russia not to everyone.

For some people a name day coincides with their birthday, for others it doesn’t. Some people celebrate this day, and for others it remains just like any other day.

A Little History of the Name Day

The tradition of celebrating name days was established after the introduction of Christianity into Russia. According to church tradition, on every single day a special saint is remembered and people who were named in his honor are celebrated.

Today the tradition of naming children in accordance with a church calendar is gaining its former popularity, so more often children’sbirthdays coincide with their name days.

Celebrating Name Days

Attitude towards name days in Russia today is not unambiguous. Many people don’tconsider it important; others don’t know how to celebrate it.

Name day is a religious day, so the first thing that usually people do on that day is going to church.

If a child’s name day is coming up, adults put their daily activities aside and pay special attention to the hero of the day. The kid is dressed in formal wear and goes to the service with the parents.

How Name Days are Celebrated

The best gift on a name day is a modest icon with an image of the saint. It can be put in the nursery, so that the saint, according to church tradition, always protected the child.

It is not customary to arrange big celebrations of name day with big expensive gifts. Usually only a few children of the same age are invited. But even more often it’s just a family dinner with your closest relatives.

According to church tradition, it is believed that a name day is above all, the day of the Saint, so on this day, the person named in honor of the saint certainly pays homage to the saint. Parents should tell the child about the saint after whom it was named.

Name day in Russia is not a typical celebration. This day is celebrated under the sign of the saint, so that the child received as a guide piety and other virtues of its patron saint.

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