Happy Name Day (Buon Onomastico)

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.

Dino helping with the icing

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.

homemade organic chocolate cake with strawberry cream cheese icing

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?

cake approval
Dino’s new scooter. All the kids in London have them to get around! 

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!) :-)

Dino looking on as the tiny snail leaves a silvery trail on my thumb
That little snail tickled!
Baby Snail

Has anyone else celebrated a Name Day? I’ve read that there is an American calendar with Name Days too.

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8 thoughts on “Happy Name Day (Buon Onomastico)”

  1. How neat. Love his full name! What a wonderful celebration. He’s such a cutie pie. His long locks make me miss T’s although I’m enjoying Baby C’s just as much. ;) Great job on the cake decorating. What an adorable little snail too. :)

  2. Beautiful idea! My son was named after my father, who died several years ago. Celebrating his name day would be a great way to remember my dad and help him learn about his namesake.

  3. Hi, my name is Krystl and Galdino Silvia, who was married to Mary Silvia and came from the island of San Miguel in the Azores. I would really like to speak with you. My e-mail is Timbysdaughter@aol.com.
    thank you

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