Names and Saints’ Days

Saint Christina

Saint Christina by Carlo Dolci – Art UK, Wikimedia Commons

Christina here – This week I will be celebrating my name day – a Swedish tradition that baffles a lot of my English friends, although I know other countries, like Spain, share this custom (there it’s called día de santo). It’s probably not as common in Sweden nowadays, but in my family we keep it up, mainly because it’s a great excuse for cake (if you need an excuse! – see my previous post here) and also because several of us share the same name so it gives us a special bond.

Friday (24th July) is St Christina’s day and although Sweden is mainly a Protestant country, for some reason they have retained the various saints’ days in their calendar. To make it more modern and inclusive, as names vary a lot more now than in the past, they have recently added lots of new names (not belonging to any saint as far as I know). That means I officially have two name days, with a new one for my other name Pia, but I’ve always celebrated Christina and one is enough for me.

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