View Full Version : Namesday

26-01-05, 05:57

I would like information about "Namnsdagen" or Namesday. I have just come across a Namesday card sent to my mother in October 1929 , just days after she arrived in Vancouver, B.C. Canada.. The Card was sent by her mother in Tojby, Finland.(Probably the first piece of mail from home.)


Jaska Sarell
26-01-05, 13:01
See The Almanac Office at University of Helsinki (http://almanakka.helsinki.fi/) site for Finnish and Swedish namedays in Finland. Not all name variations shown.
Also scanned historical calendars can be found there, but they seem to contain mostly Finnish variants only.

:) Jaska

27-01-05, 23:09
Thanks Jasko for the website.

Can anyone tell me the history of namesday.?

I think that it could be the day that a child was given it's name at a Church christening ceremony. If this is so, was the name chosen according to the date of the christening?

28-01-05, 15:12
The namesday has it roots in the Cahtolic calender of saints. Some of them still persist, e.g Nicolas och december 6th. Over the years the list has changed in the Nordic countries. New names hav been put in and old ones no more in use taken out.

Here in Finland we have three namesday lists: Swedish, Finnish and Greek Orthodox. The Finnish and Swedish namesdays are largely the same, but with somewhat different spelling: Paul - Paavo, Pauli, Henrik - Heikki, Karl - Kaarlo, Kaarle et.c.

The Swedish namesdays in Finland are different from those in Sweden.


28-01-05, 23:09
Thanks Sune for your information.
Am I right in assuming that someone's namesday is actually the day they were Christened in the Church.?

In my mother's case, she was born in March, but the namesday card that I found was dated May. I looked up her name which was Edit, and found that her namesday was May 14th . Would she have been christened in the Luthern Church in Korsnas and been given her name of Edit on May 14th?

29-01-05, 08:37
Namesday is not the day the child was baptized but occasionally this might have been the case. When writing the christenings of Parkano parish to Hiski I noticed that during the early 19th century there were more Johan´s christened in June than during the other months, possibly because of Midsummer being the namesday of John the Baptist. Lots of Johan´s were christened during the rest of the year, too. Usually, however, the parents chose the name according to their own criteria ( often a name that existed in the family already, like a grandparent ).
Merja ( born in January, namesday in April )

31-01-05, 22:06
Thanks Merja for the info, it answers my question perfectly.

It is so wonderful to have this website where you can connect with others having the knowledge.