What’s in a name?

Photo courtesy of Lubos Houska/Pixabay
Photo courtesy of Lubos Houska/Pixabay

There is no doubt that the Czech Republic is a beautiful country. Not only is it rich with architectural treasures and natural wonders, it also has a very colorful culture.   One of these interesting cultural practices is the observance of a name day.

In Czech culture, the calendar has a set of names.  This means that every Czech person’s name is based on the calendar.  If you are Czech, forget about naming your child “Northwest”  or “Vector Ion,” if you do not want to go through the trouble of obtaining a permit and paying a fine.    Parents wanting to name their child differently would need a special permission from a Czech authority to be able to do so.

Having one’s name derived from the calendar also means that each person has a name day.  So everyday in  Czech is somebody’s name day.  It is kind of a big deal.  The name day is celebrated like a birthday.  You wish the person a happy name day and give him or her a little present like a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates.

Two weeks ago, we celebrated my daughter’s name day.  For our family, it is pretty much the last name day celebration for this year.  In as much as I would like to observe all the cultural festivities in Czech, I’m glad we’re done celebrating name days.  It is a celebration that I always forget.  Perhaps because I don’t have one.

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2 thoughts on “What’s in a name?

  1. Naomi Baltuck November 4, 2016 / 2:34 am

    This is so interesting, Grace. I have heard of other places where you must obtain permission to name your child something unusual–perhaps it was Scandinavia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grace November 4, 2016 / 11:09 am

      Yes, this was one of the peculiarities I’ve ran into when we first moved here. They really do take their names seriously. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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