Greek Namedays – Greek Holidays

According to Greek Orthodox tradition, every day of the year is dedicated to a Christian saint or martyr. January 7 for example, is the day of Saint John the Baptist and it is the name day for all greek people named Yannis (or Ioannis = John, male) or Yanna (or Ioanna, female). A person’s Name Day is considered more important than the same person’s Birthday and it is always celebrated in Greece.

If a friend of yours has his name day, then you should give him a call and wish him «Hronia Polla». If this is translated, then it means «Many Years» and it is a wish for good health and prosperity. You should ask him if he will accept visits at his house.

For birthday parties people invite their friends to their house for a drink or a birthday party but for name days this does not apply. It is up to you to visit your friend and wish him for his nameday. Bringing a gift is necessary. Flowers or liquor are ok, as well as books, music CDs or something more personal.

It is also possible that your friend will invite you to a tavern or a bar on his nameday. A gift is welcome in this case too.

List of the most important Name Days in Greece:
January 1 – New Year’s Day – Vasileios (Vasilis) – Vaso
January 6 – Theofania (Epiphany) – Fotis, Fotoula
January 7 – Ioannis – Ioanna or Yannis – Yanna
January 10 – Grigorios
January 11 – Theodosios
January 17 – Antonios
January 18 – Athanasios& Kurillos
January 20 – Eythimios
January 26 – Xenofontas

February 1 – Trifonas
February 8 – Zaharias
February 9 – Nikiforos
February 10 – Charalampos or Mpampis
February 17 – Theodoros

March 1 – Eudokia
March 16 – Xristodoulos
March 21 – Iakovos
March 25, Annunciation Day – Evangelos or Vangelis, Evangelia or Vangelio or Eva

April 23 – Georgios (Yorgos) – Georgia. If this name day is during the Easter Lent, then it is moved to the second day after Easter.

May 4 – Pelagia
May 5 – Eirini
May 9 – Christoforos
May 10 – Simonos
May 21 – Kostas (Konstantinos), Eleni

June 8 – Kalliopi
June 29 – Petros, Pavlos

July 1 – Kosmas, Damianos
July 3 – Iakinthos (the Cretan Saint Valentine)
July 7 – Kiriaki
July 8 – Theofilos
July 11 – Olga
July 17 – Marina
July 20 – Elias (Ilias)
July 26 – Paraskevi

August 15 – Assumption Day – Maria, Marios, Panagiotis, Panos
August 24 – Kosmas
August 25 – Titos
August 30 – Alexandros

September 1 – Simeon
September 14 – Stavros – Stavroula
September 15 – Nikitas
September 29 – Kiriakos

October 3 – Dionisios
October 6 – Thomas
October 26 – Dimitrios

November 8 – Michalis, Angelos – Angela, Angeliki
November 9 – Nektarios
November 11 – Minas
November 14 – Filippos
November 16 – Mathaios
November 21 – Maria, Panagiotis, Panos
November 25 – Aikaterini (Katerina)
November 26 – Stilianos, Stelios – Stela
November 30 – Andreas

December 4 – Varvara
December 5 – Savvas
December 6 – Nikolaos, Nikos
December 9 – Anna
December 12 – Spiridon, Spiros
December 15 – Eleftherios, Lefteris
December 25 – Christmas Day, Manolis – Emmanouela
December 27 – Stefanos

Greek Holidays
January 1: New Year’s Day

January 6: Epiphany

March 25: Independence Day

Easter: not fixed day

May 1: Flower Festival & Labor Day

August 15: Assumption Day

October 28: Ohi Day – Refusing the Italians to occupy Greece in 1940

December 25: Christmas

December 26: Boxing Day

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