Polish Traditions: Name Day (imieniny)

Written by on April 12, 2021

Name Day

For centuries throughout Polish history, name days (or imieniny) have been even more important than one’s birthday. That’s because Polish calendars list different saints  associated with an each day of the year. This tradition was so significant that Polish immigrants migrating to the United States in the 1800s often gave their name day as their date of birth! 

Celebrations for name days are similar to those associated with American birthdays. Gatherings involve food, cake, drinks, flowers and gifts.  

So how can you find out your name day? Simple: just look for your name in a Polish calendar.  The day with your name on it, that’s also closest to your birthday, is your name day! 

Birthday celebrations are growing increasingly popular and important, even exceeding the value of a name day among younger generations of Polish people. Yet the tradition continues on. For many, name days remain the most important celebrations every year. 

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