Sunday, April 18th was St. Galdino Day. We never need a reason to have a party, but a real, honest-to-goodness reason somehow validates the cake and presents! For privacy reasons, I don’t usually mention my son’s name on my blog. I call him “D” for Dino – his nickname. (Maybe it’s a little strange, since I have a parenting blog and most mommy bloggers, well, blog about their children, by name.) But, since yesterday was my son’s official Name Day I thought I would share a little bit about it, in case you’ve never heard of Name Days.
Name Days are popular in parts of Europe and Latin America – and in some countries, as important, or more important than birthdays. Its’ roots are in Christianity and date back to the Middle Ages and it’s purpose is the celebration of the saints. A person named after one of the saints would celebrate on that saint’s day – or feast day. St. Galdino della Sala was a bishop from Milan who died on April 18, 1176 and his feast day is celebrated by the Roman Catholic Church on this day.
Our son is named after my great-grandfather from Portugal on my paternal grandmother’s side. His name was Galdino Silvia from the island of San Miguel in the Azores – a small chain of islands located in the middle of the Atlantic between America and Portugal. My ancestors on my father’s side of the family all came from the Azores at the turn of the century.
When we were deciding on baby names (we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl – but I suspected) we looked to my family for first names, since our baby would inherit my husband’s last name. Galdino sounded perfect to us. Old World. Historical. Familial. Unique. He could shorten it and be called Dino. Cute. Cool. Charming. Boyish. What boy doesn’t live dinos and what mom doesn’t love Dean Martin?
It is said to be lucky to spend your Name Day in the city of the saint. Maybe next year we will take a trip to Milan with our son! For now, we gorged on cake, tried out his new scooter and then spent our energy gardening in the warm, sunny weather. We found worms and an adorable little snail. (Cute now, but not once my vegetables look like dinner to them!)
Has anyone else celebrated a Name Day? I’ve read that there is an American calendar with Name Days too.