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Why and how Poles celebrate namedays
By Robert Strybel, "The Polish Answer Man" Why and how Poles celebrate namedays

Why and how Poles celebrate namedays

by Robert Strybel, Polish/Polonian Affairs Writer

 ul. Kaniowska 24
01-529 Warsaw, Poland

            Unlike most other nations, the people of Catholic Poland tend to attach more importance to the feastday of their patron saint than to birthdays. In the past, this was common in other Catholic countries such as Austria and Bavaria (southern Germany) where the Namenstag was once widely celebrated. Birthdays with cakes and blowing out candles are now commonly held for children in  Poland, largely as a result of the strong American influence with which television bombards today’s audiences. But, on into the early 21st century, among adults, imieniny (namedays) were still far more popular.

            Namedays are celebrated much the way birthdays are with one exception: no numbers are mentioned, displayed or hinted at in any way. So nobody would think of asking “Which nameday is this?”, and there are no greeting cards saying “Best wishes on your 10th or 21st Nameday!” Neither is there any set number of candles to blow out, so this celebration would seem to have a lot going for it among age-conscious Americans.

            Arriving guests wish the solenizant or solenizantka (person celebrating a nameday) something like: “Wszystkiego najlepszego w dniu imienin” (“All the best on your nameday”) or elaborate on that general theme with: “Duzo zdrowia, szczescia i pomyslnosci” (“Lots of health, luck and success”). Guests usually present the host or hostess with cut flowers and a gift. For men it is often a bottle, book, fishing equipment, etc. and for women – perfume, clothing or something for the home. Guests can expect to find tables laden with cold meats, aspic dishes, eggs in sauce, salads, relishes, pickles, etc. Crystal carafes of home-made cordials, store-bought spirits and wines in their original bottles are prominently displayed on the table. A hot dish and desserts with tea and coffee are usually brought in later.

            Toasts are raised “Za zdrowie solenizanta or solenizantki” (“To the health of the nameday celebrator”). The host reciprocates with: “Zdrowie milych gosci” (“To the health of our amiable guests”). The evening is spent amid good food, drink and fellowship. There is joking and flirting and, depending on the age and temperament of the crowd, someone may strike up a sing-along or roll up the rug for dancing. Naturally, no nameday party would be complete without serenading the host or hostess with “Sto Lat”.

            Some namedays are extremely popular, meaning that on certain days every third or fourth flat in an apartment building and every fourth or fifth house in the village are celebrating. When Windows are open in warmer whether, the laughter, clinking of glasses and strains of “Sto Lat” carry far and wide. Among the older generation, extremely popular namedays include Andrzej, Jan, Jozef, Jerzy, Wojciech, Stanislaw, Michal and Zygmunt for men and Maria, Barbara, Zofia, Katarzyna, Krystyna, Anna, Jadwiga  and Wanda for women.

Polish nameday listing

Compiled by Rob Strybel, Polish/Polonian Affairs Writer

            If you, a relative or friend is expecting a blessed event and wondering what name to give the child, why not look through the following list. Presented below is a fairly extensive alphabetical listing of most of Poland’s first names and the days their owners celebrate their namedays.

Adam - Dec. 24
Agata - Feb. 2
Albina - Dec. 16
Albina - Mar. 1
Alicja - June 21
Alina - June 17
Alfons - Aug. 1
Alojzy - June 21
Ambrozy - Dec. 12
Anatol - July 3
Andrzej - Feb. 4, May 16, July 13, Nov. 30
Aniela - Jan.  4,  Jan. 27
Anna  July 26
Antoni -  Jan. 17,  June 13, Oct. 24
Antonina - Mar. 1
Arkdadiusz - Jan. 12
Artur - Oct. 6
Aurelia - Dec. 2
Balbina - Dec. 21
Baltazar - Jan 6 (one of the Three Kings)
Balbina - Mar. 31
Bartlomiej - Aug. 24
Bartosz - Apr. 21, Aug. 24
Barbara - Dec. 4
Beata - Mar. 8, Sept. 6
Benedykt - Mar. 21, July 11, July 13
Benon - June 16
Benigna - June 20
Bernard - Mar. 12, Aug. 20
Bernadeta - April 16
Blanka - Dec. 1
Blazej -Feb. 3
Bohdan - Aug. 31
Bogna - June 20
Bogdan - July 17
Bogumil - June 6
Bogumila - Jan 13
Bogusz - Feb. 24
Boguslaw - Mar. 22, Sept. 23, Dec. 18
Boguslawa - May 29
Boleslaw - Aug. 19
Boleslawa -  July 22
Bozena - Mar. 13
Bronislaw - Aug. 18
Bronislawa - Sept. 1
Brunon - Oct. 6, Oct. 11
Brygida - Feb. 1
Cecylia - Nov. 22
Celestyna - April 6
Celina Oct. 21
Cezary - Feb. 25, Aug. 27, Dec. 28
Cyprian - Sept. 16
Cyryl - Feb. 2, March 18, June 27, Sept. 16
Czeslaw - July 20
Czeslawa - Jan. 12
Damian -  Feb. 23
Daniel - Oct. 10
Danuta - Jan. 3, June 24
Dariusz - Dec. 19
Dobroslaw -  Jan. 10
Dobroslawa - Apr. 9
Dominik - Aug. 8
Donat - Feb. 25, Apr. 30, Oct. 22
Dorota - Feb. 6, June 25
Edmund - Nov. 11
Edward - March 18, Oct. 13
Edyta - Sept. 16
Eleonora - Feb. 21
Elwira  - Jan. 25, June 14
Elzbieta - May 11, July 4, Nov. 17
Eryk -  May 18
Eryka - Feb. 9
Eugeniusz  - Jan. 4, July 8
Eustachy - Sept. 9
Ewa - Dec. 24
Ewelina - May 26
Fabian - Jan. 1
Felicja - Apr. 24, Sept. 30
Felicjan - Oct. 29
Feliks - Jan. 14, May 18, June 11, Aug. 30, Nov. 20
Ferdynand - May 30
Filemon -  Mar. 21
Filip - April 11, May 26, Oct. 22
Florian - May 4
Flora - Nov. 24
Franciszek - Jan. 24, April 2, June 4, Oct. 4 (of Assisi), Oct. 10, Dec. 3
Franciszka - Mar. 9
Fryderyk  - July 18
Fryderyka - Mar. 5
Gabriel - Feb. 27, Mar. 24, Sept. 29
Gabriela - Dec. 19
Gawel - Oct. 16
Genowefa - Jan. 3
Gertruda - Mar. 17, Nov. 16
Gerwazy - June 19
Grazyna - April 1
Grzegorz - Jan. 2, May 25, Sept. 3
Gustaw - Aug. 2
Halina - July 1
Halka - Oct. 22
Halszka - Mar. 2
Hanna -  Jan. 1, July 26
Helena - Mar. 2, May 22, Aug. 18
Henryk - Jan. 19, July 13
Henryka - Mar. 2. Mar. 16
Hieronim - Feb. 8, Sept. 30
Hilary - Mar. 16, May 5
Honorata - Jan. 11
Hubert - Nov. 3
Hugo - Apr. 1
Hugon - Apr. 1
Idzi - Sept. 1
Ignacy - Oct. 17, July 31
Igor -  Oct. 5
Ilona -  Aug. 18
Ireneusz - Mar. 25, June 28
Irena - Apr. 1, Apr. 5, Oct. 20
Irma - Sept. 18
Izabela - Feb 23, Mar. 16, Sept. 3
Izydor - Apr. 4, May 10, May 19
Iwona - May 19
Jacek - Aug. 17, Sept. 11
Jacenty - Feb. 10
Jadwiga - July 17, Oct. 16
Jakub - May 6, July 25, Oct. 21
Jan - Jan. 31, Feb. 8, Mar. 8, Mar. 30, Apr. 7, Apr. 9, May 18, May 21, May 30, June 12,        June 24 (the Baptist), July 12, Aug. 4, Aug. 19, Sept. 13, Oct. 3 (of Dukla), Oct. 10           (Kanty), Oct. 23, Nov. 13, Dec. 4, Dec. 27 (the Apostle)
Janina -  June 12
Janusz -  Nov. 21
Jaromir - May 28
Jaroslaw - Jan. 21, Apr. 25
Jaroslawa - Jan. 21
Jerzy - April 24
Joanna   - Feb 2, May 30, Dec. 12
Jolanta - June 15
Jozef - Mar. 19 (Jesus’ guardian), May 1 (the Worker), June 23, Aug. 25
Jozafat Nov. 11
Julian - Jan. 9, Feb. 13, Sept. 2,  Oct. 18
Julianna - Feb. 16, Aug. Aug. 17
Julia - May 22, July 27, Dec. 10
Julita - July 30
Juliusz - Apr. 12
Jurand -  May 6
Justyn - July 1
Justyna - June 16, Sept. 17. Dec. 20
Kacper - Jan. 6 (one of the Three Kings)
Kajetan - Aug. 7
Kamil - July 14
Karol - Nov. 4
Karolina -  July 5
Katarzyna - Mar. 9, Apr. 29, Nov. 25
Kazimierz Mar. 4
Kazimiera - Aug. 21
Kinga - July 24
Klaudia - Mar. 30
Klaudisuz - Apr. 26
Klara - Aug. 11
Klemens - Mar. 3, Nov. 23
Klementyna -  Sept. 8
Konrad - Feb. 19, Apr. 21, Nov. 26
Konstanty - Nov. 30
Kornel - Sept. 16
Krystyna - Mar. 13, July 24, Nov. 13
Krzysztof - July 25
Ksawery - Dec. 3
Ksenia -  Apr. 16
Kunegunda - Mar. 3
Larysa - Mar. 23
Laura - June 17
Lech - Aug. 12
Lechoslaw -  Nov. 26
Leon - Feb. 20, Apr. 19, June 12, Nov. 10
Leonard - Nov. 6
Leokadia - Dec. 9
Leslaw -  Nov. 28
Leslawa - Nov. 28
Leszek - June 3
Lidia - Mar. 27, Aug. 3
Lubomir - July 31, Nov. 10
Lucjan - Jan. 7
Lucyna - June 30
Ludwik - Apr. 28, Aug. 25
Ludwika - Aug. 25
Ladsyslaw - Sept. 25
Lukasz - Oct. 18
Lucja - Dec. 13
Maciej - Jan. 30, May 14
Magdalena - May 25, July 22
Maja - Apr. 9
Maksymilian (Maria Kolbe) - Aug. 14
Malwina - Dec. 4
Malgorzata - Jan. 18, Feb. 22, Oct. 16, Nov. 16
Marcel -Jan. 16, Mar. 10
Marceli - Jan. 16
Marcelina -  Apr. 26
Marcin - Apr. 13, Nov. 3, Nov. 11 (of Tours)
Marcelina - Apr. 26, June 2
Mariola - Mar. 25
Mariusz - Jan. 19
Marek - Apr. 25
Maria - Jan. 1, Feb. 2 (Candlemas), Feb. 11. Mar. 25, Apr. 9, May 3 (Queen of Poland),
             May 24, May 31, July 5, July 16, July 22, Aug. 15, Aug. 22, Aug. 26
             (of Czestochowa), Sept. 8, Sept. 15, Oct. 7, Nov. 16, Nov. 21, Dec. 8
Marian - Apr. 30
Marlena - June 16, Oct. 23
Marta - July 29
Martyna - Jan. 30
Marzanna - June 2
Marzena - Apr. 26
Mateusz - Sept. 21 (Apostle), Nov. 13
Matylda - Mar. 14
Maurycy - Sept. 22
Melchior - Jan. 6 (one of the Three Kings)
Metody - Feb. 14
Michal - Apr. 10, Sept. 29 (Archangel),
Mieczyslaw, Mieszko - Jan. 1
Mikolaj - Dec. 6
Miroslaw, Miroslawa - Feb. 26
Monika - Aug. 27
Narcyz - Mar. 18
Natalia - July 27, Dec. 1
Nela - Nov. 10
Nikodem - Sept. 15
Nina -  Dec. 15
Nora - Feb. 12
Norbert - June 6
Olgierd - Feb. 11
Olga - July 11
Onufry - June 12
Otto - July 1
Otylia - Dec. 13
Patryk - Mar. 17
Paula - Jan. 26
Paulina -  Dec. 12
Pawel, Jan. 15, Jan. 25 (Apostle), Feb. 6, Mar. 2,  June 26, June 29
            (Feast of SS Peter &  Paul), Oct. 19
Pelagia - Mar. 23,  June 9,  Oct.  8
Piotr - Jan. 28, Feb. 21, Feb. 22, Apr. 28, Apr. 29, May 19, June 29
            (Feast of SS Peter & Paul)
July 30, Sept. 9, Dec. 21
Prokop - July 8
Przemyslaw - Apr. 13
Rafal - Sept. 29
Rajmund - Jan. 7, Aug. 31
Regina - Sept. 7
Renata - Nov. 12
Remigiusz - Oct. 1
Robert - Apr. 17, June 7, Sept. 17
Roch - Aug. 16
Roman - Feb. 28, Aug. 9, Nov. 18
Romuald - June 19
Rozalia - Sept. 4
Roza - Mar. 6, Aug. 23
Ryszard -- Feb. 7. Apr. 3, Aug. 9
Ryszarda -  Sept. 7
Rudolf - Oct. 12
Sabina - Oct. 27
Sandra - May 18,  Aug. 26
Sebastian - Jan. 20
Seweryn - Jan. 8, Feb. 1, June 8, Oct. 23, Nov. 8
Slawomir - May 17
Stanislaw - May 8 (Bishop & Martyr), Sept. 18 (Kostka)
Stanislawa - Aug. 5
Stefan  - Aug. 16
Stefania -  Sept. 18
Sylwester - Dec. 31 (New Year’s Eve)
Sylwia -  Nov. 3
Szczepan - Dec. 26
Szczesny - Aug. 30
Szymon - July 18, Oct. 28
Tadeusz (Juda) - Oct. 28
Teodor - Feb. 7, Apr. 20. Sept. 19, Nov. 9
Teodora - Apr. 1
Teofil - Apr. 27, Oct. 2
Teofilia - Dec. 28
Teresa - July 6,  Oct. 1, Oct. 15
Tomes - Jan. 28, June 22, July 3 (Apostle), Sept. 22, Dec. 29
Tymoteusz - Jan. 26
Tytus - Jan. 4, Jan. 26
Urban - July 2, Oct. 31. Dec. 19
Urszula - Oct. 21
Waclaw - Sept. 28
Waclawa - Apr. 15
Waldemar -  May 5, Dec. 11
Walenty - Feb. 14
Walery - Jan. 29, June 14
Waldemar - Jan. 16
Wanda - June 23
Wawrzyniec - July 21, Aug. 10. Sept. 5
Weronika - Jan 13, July 9
Wiktor - Feb. 25, May 21, July 28, Oct. 17
Wiktoria - Dec. 23
Wincenty - Jan. 22, Apr.  5, Sept. 27, Oct. 9
Wieslaw - May 22, June 7
Wieslawa - May 22
Wirgiliusz - Nov. 27
Wirginia -  Dec. 8
Wit - June 15
Witold - Nov. 21
Wladyslaw - June 25, Sept. 25
Wlodzimierz - Jan. 16. July 15
Wojciech - Apr. 23
Zdzislaw - Nov. 28
Zdzislawa - Dec. 12
Zenon - Apr. 12, July 9, Dec. 22
Zofia - May 15
Zuzanna - May 24. Aug. 11
Zygmunt - May 2
Zyta - Apr. 27
Zaneta - Dec. 27
Zytomir - Nov.


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