Happy Name Day?

Yes! One more reason to be celebrated😊

Italians love a reason to gather and celebrate and celebrating your Onomastico is one more way they do so. Onomastico- In Italy this means “Name Day”. Your Onomastico day is celebrated just as your birthday would with well wishes from friends and family saying “Buon Onomastico! (Happy Name Day), a cake and sometimes even presents! But why? What is it about “Name Day” that gives such importance to the day that those surrounding you wish to celebrate it?

The celebration of ones Onomastico derives from Catholicism where there are many Holidays throughout the year that celebrate a particular Saint. If you happen to have been named after a Saint then that Holy day meant to celebrate the memory of the Saint also becomes your “Name Day”, therefore making you just that much more special for the day!

According to the Italian Enthusiast; as he researched the topic with fellow Italians, they came to the conclusion that while the celebration of Onomastico is known throughout all of Italy, it is celebrated more so in Southern Italy than the North. Onomastico is also an old tradition that Nonno and Nonna would have grown up celebrating no doubt but might not be celebrated so much as the younger generations raise their children.  

An article in La gazzetta italiana declares that “many parents would name their newborn after the saint that appeared on the calendar on that exact day. For instance, if a baby boy were to be born on September 19, the day of San Gennaro (San Januarius), he will be named Gennaro. Similarly, if a baby girl happened to be born on July 26, she would be named Anna in relation to Sant’ Anna’s feast day. It is not unusual for an Italian person to celebrate both the birthday and the name day at once.”

What are some of the most popular names celebrated today? Easy Milano lists the top three boys and girls names in 2015 and their Onomastico date.

Boys Francesco – Onomastico: 4 October; Alessandro – Onomastico: 26 August; Marco – Onomastico: 25 April.
Girls Sofia – Onomastico: 30 September; Giulia – Onomastico: 22 May; Aurora – Onomastico: 20 October.

Whilst “Name Day” derives from a religious background you will find even non- Christians might find a reason to celebrate the day sending a quick text, a small floral arrangement/plant or a little gift. The best gifts of course that very few can say no to are chocolates and while on the topic of an Italian Holiday then why not surprise a friend, family member or an Italian enthusiast with a sweet treat such as Baratti & Milano Chocolates, once made for a King & Queen they are the perfect way to say Buon Onomastico!

                                   picture of St. Anthony in black and white

May 25, 2023

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