Name Day: What It Is & How to Celebrate

The name we received from our parents may be the most valuable possession we have. It discerns us from others, and it shapes our personalities and individuality. In many cultures and countries around the world, there is a celebration of someone’s name every day of the year. Many cultures call this celebration a Name Day.

happy name day greeting

The best thing about name days is that you don’t need to know your friend’s birthday to send them a greeting, you just need their name. And, while birthdays are certainly the most popular reason to celebrate and party in America, name days are just as important to many cultures around the world.

Is name day synonymous with birthday?

In short, the answer is no. However, there is so much more to the answer than a simple “yes or no.” Birthdays are just that, the day you were born. Your name day extends beyond and into more meaning than only you. You may share both days, but in many traditions, cultures and religions, your name day is more important than your birthday.

As a tradition in many countries in Europe and Latin America, people celebrate their name day once a year. This date is specific to your given name and the roots of that name. The tradition of celebrating this day flows back into Catholic and Orthodox countries since the Middle Ages and continues today. While those in North America don’t necessarily celebrate this day (other than an individual’s birthday), many cultures still hold this day in high regard.

Three name tags with different names, Renee's name day is celebrated on November 12th.

Celebrations of each name day are typically in commemoration of saints and martyrs of the Catholic church. For example, Sweden celebrates the name Karl on January 28, which is the anniversary of the death of Charlemagne. In some countries, such as Poland, there are several days for one name. In that situation, it is usually the closest one after the person’s birthday. Many countries regard these celebrations to be even more important than an actual birthday, as the latter was seen as a pagan tradition.

Why do you need to know the difference?

This became a popular topic when George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, refers to the topic in his books and the resulting television series. While Martin does not give us a clear definition of what name days are, he does mention name days coincide with birthdays. Fans of the series have speculated after reading or watching it that a name day is the character’s birthday.

George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones meme reference to Happy Name Day

The Nameday is a custom in the society of the Seven Kingdoms. It is an annual celebration commemorating the naming of a person and serves to calculate his or her age. Babies are named the same day they are born. People receive presents from friends and family on their nameday. 

In Martin’s words, “Stupidly, Jon argued. ‘I’ll be fifteen on my name day,’ he said. ‘Almost a man grown.'” (Found in The Song of Ice and Fire)

Martin gives other examples of people celebrating name days as similar to birthdays. One example is the continual mention of King Joffrey Baratheon’s name day celebration.

So, what are name days, and where do people celebrate them?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines name days as “the church feast day of the saint after whom one is named.”

Many cultures and countries around the world put precedence on celebrating these specific name days. Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Italy and Russia are just a handful of countries that honor this celebration.

Two ladies setting up for a celebration of name day.
Fanny Brate – A Day of Celebration

In many cultures, there are first names associated with the days of the year. The associations between the days and the names have arisen through many reasons, but primarily because the church held a festival for a saint of that name on that day. For instance, the church feast of Saint Michael was held on September 29, and as a result, the name day for Michael is on September 29. In some countries, one’s nameday is more important than one’s birthday, and sometimes gifts are given.

While each culture may have different traditions surrounding name days, they all have one thing in common: the name. So, whether your name is Michelle or Karl, you have two days a year that are special to only you! While your birthday is indeed special, your name day carries just as much significance.

So, the next time you don’t know someone’s birthday, look up their name day and give them a cheerful message or gift instead. Try a new name tag or a personalized name plate with their name and their special date!

3 Sets of Products That Work Better Together

From the simplest of pairs to the most personalized sets, here’s a list of all of our products that work better when paired together.

Badge Holders & Lanyards

Let’s get started with the most basic and well-known personalized product: badge holders. They are so underrated, and we think that’s a shame. Badge holders are great for so many things. From identification needs at conventions to at-home DIY projects, these unique products are downright perfect.

And, with printable inserts, badge holders are products that are only limited by your imagination, and maybe your printer. Add graphics, logos and any text you need for any event or craft. They come in several sizes and either a horizontal or vertical orientation. From lightweight to heavy duty, these vinyl badges are perfect for any need.

Don’t limit a badge holder to an event staple at your next conference, convention or trade show. They are so versatile that they will last through any meeting. And, they are an excellent benefit for schools to use as visitor passes. Retail environments also get significant reuse from these identification products when using them for seasonal employees.

Now, let’s pair these badge holders with the power of a lanyard!

Whether it’s a chain or full-color printed ribbon, lanyards have a power all to themselves. They are perfect for branding for any company or event. Keep essential items close at hand with a lanyard. And, you can find these tools anywhere you find badge holders. After all, badge holders come with a slot at the top specifically designed to go hand-in-hand with a lanyard.

And, with the variety of available lanyard styles, materials and colors, they provide an excellent source of advertising. Design your lanyards with logos, graphics and text to make them stand out. Even more important, make sure that your design flows with your badge holders. When used together, these two identification products provide multiple functions for a variety of events and situations.

Badge Holders & Badge Ribbons

badge holders and badge ribbons are two identification products that pair well together

We’re beginning to sense a theme here. Badge holders are making another appearance.

Badge holders and badge ribbons, it’s all in the name! They really do go hand-in-hand with each other. But, this time they are being paired with badge ribbons. These ribbon products are a fantastic tool at any conference. They help identify different participants and vendors. Badge ribbons are available with stock or custom titles so no one will be left out.

Badge ribbons are often used to promote brand recognition, events, sales and to market services or products. Add a ribbon to the bottom of a badge holder to make someone stand out in a crowd. Or use them for DIYs and home crafts. But, no matter what you use them for, remember to grab a badge holder to go with them.

Name Tags & Name Plates

Yes, you may not think that these two identification products work better together, but we beg to differ.

pair a name tag and a name plate together and make all of your identification products work well together with matching colors and logos

No matter how big your company is, using your brand is what makes you stand out. Your logo represents not only you and your company but also your brand and overall commitment to your clients and customers. And, in the name tag world, using your logo consistently on all personal identification products helps to define and identify you and your company.

From colors to logos, consistency matters. So, finding the right consistency with logos, colors and fonts helps to solidify your message. By defining what your brand is up front, you help establish your company as an industry leader. Find a way to keep your logo and text the same on all name tags and name plates. A company who ensures that their brand is well developed will retain and obtain connections with their clients and customers.

So, lesson learned. Never underestimate the power of combined identification products. Let them work for you, and your job will be even easier.

Influencing Identity: A Better Way to Blog

Influencing Identity is here to help you figure out how to use name tags and identification products.

Plastic engraved sign with an explanation of Coller Industries Incorporated's personal identification blog Influencing Identity

From name tags for your business to badge holders for your next conference, we have it all. Get all your identification needs in one place and find out how to use them at work, while networking and at any event you are planning. Use our how-to articles to get your ideas flowing for working with all of your personal identification.

From Name Tag Experience to an All-Inclusive Influencing Identity

We started as “Name Tag Experience,” but over the years we’ve branched out to so much more than name tags. And to keep up to date with that expansion, we have changed our name to Influencing Identity. We have thrived as Coller Industries Incorporated over the past 20 or so years, as our focus and mission have always remained the same “To Serve Our Customers.” We accomplish this mission by providing fast and friendly service with only the highest-quality personal identification products.

It isn’t just the name tags!

Coller Industries Incorporated's personal identification blog Influencing Identity

Yes, we sell name tags, reusable badges, name plates, badge holders, lanyards and signs. But, we’re so much more. Influencing Identity has a wealth of information with product highlights and how-to articles to get your creative ideas flowing. This blog (by Coller Industries Incorporated) has helped customers like you learn how to best utilize name tags and other products for their specific needs. From tutorials to strategies, discover how custom identification will help you grow your business and promote your brand.

Coller Industries Incorporated broadens the blogosphere with a new long-form content platform and renames two product and idea based blogs.

Coller Industries Incorporated's event planning and informational blog The Learning Center

The Learning Center is full of articles about learning how to host the best event ever, networking with colleagues and so much more. We guarantee that the information you find here will help you and your business. With a wide range of products such as ribbon rolls, rosettes, name tags, lanyards and award plaques, we want to make sure that you know how and where to use them. Whether you’re planning the best conference anyone will ever attend or hosting a simple dinner party, The Learning Center is here to make sure you are using these tools in the best possible ways.

Coller Industries Incorporated's personalized ribbons blog Ribbon Impressions

Ribbon Impressions provides information about everything from custom ribbon roll ideas for your wedding to badge ribbons for a conference or convention. And don’t forget about rosette ribbons for your award needs, such as fair or festival prizes. Find all your ribbon needs in one place and learn how to best use them at events, during promotions and for your corporate gifting. Discover inspiration for using personalized ribbons and find useful how-to articles.