Name Day in France (C’est la fête !)

Bonjour !

In France, most first names have a day of the year dedicated to them: your Name Day.

It can make your day just a little bit more special, and it comes with rhyming proverbs, so what’s not to love?

Today we dive into this low-key tradition that your French friends have no occasion to tell you about.

Et toi ?
Does your name have a name day in France?
When is it?

Bonne journée,

Géraldine

Join the conversation!

  • Is there a name day for Bonnie? My name is Bonnie May but I’m not sure if there would be any days with those names. My birthday is 16 January

    • I don’t think so Bonnie. The whole point of Saint’s days is that children named for/after saints have a day to celebrate that. Nicolas, David etc. Unless you want to hijack/adopt something (Boniface… Bonnie…? Pushign it, but hey…), I don’t think there’s a name day for “Bonnie”.

  • Bonne fete, Geraldine :)!
    in Russia we celebrate the name day as well. And if the saint which name you have, has few days in calender such as Saint Anna for example , then you celebrate your name day on the day which is most closest to your birthday.
    I celebrate my name day on 23.02 and birthday on 10.03:)
    My son Luca has the name day on his birthday day:)

  • Salut Geraldine,
    Hallowe’en originates from Britain and is the Celtic festival of Samain, not North America. 🙂

    Btw when are my Saint’s Days? Angela being my first name and Yvette is my middle name.

    Merci.

  • Les vidéos sont excellentes…mais dommage: pour en profiter comme il faut, on doit d’abord savoir l’anglais! autrement on n’arrive pas à comprendre pleinement leur contenu. J’aimerais bien que dans un futur bien proche on puisse les sous-titrer en espagnol!!!

  • Il n’y a pas une fête pour mon prénom, Opal. Pourtant, une opale est une pierre précieuse, donc peut-être je peux fêter La Sainte-Pierre.

  • Bonjour Geraldine! Merci beaucoup pour le video! Oui, j’ai une fête pour mon nom, le 16 mai et il y avait aussi une caractérologie; la résolution, l’achèvement, la vitalité, la stratégie, l’ardeur. J’ai utilizé cet site web: http://www.meilleursprenoms

  • Excellent leçon !
    J’adore la langue française mais ma bête noire est le subjonctif. Maintenant, je peux dire que je vais maitriser le subjonctif à la Saint-Glinglin !

  • A fascinating subject, not least perhaps because
    we see that link with a Christian history. My name
    translates into Jean in French (of course) and I’ve
    discovered five different dates for that name.
    Mon Dieu ! The one that you’ve mentioned
    Géraldine, of 24th June, translates into the day
    of Saint John the Baptist in English. Exalted company
    indeed, and definitely beyond anything that I deserve !
    Perhaps I should choose one of the other “Jean” dates
    as my name day 🙂
    Une leçon très très intéressante Géraldine, et merci
    beaucoup.

  • We searched the internet fr ur next-door-neighbour’s jour de fete, his name is Andre. It was very popular at the turn of the century (1900) and for a few decades afterwards, but i now out of fashion. We bought him a small present (an adjustable head lamp he can wear, as he had admired mine) and packaged it nicely with jour-de-fete cards and labels found easily on the internet.

    He was very surprised to get it! It was a great pleasure to offer him une bagatelle pour lui remercier de sa bonté extraordinaire envers ses voisins étrangers pendant l’année.

    While my wife was briefly away visiting our children in England, he invited me for coffee on the Fete des Rois and shared a home-made open apple tart, in which he had concealed a feve for me! Such a lovely man, un vrai Normande.

  • Ma fête c’est le 4 décembre. Je n’avais aucune idée que j’en avais une. C’est bon, parce-que mon anniversaire est en juillet, et maintenant j’ai deux jours chaque année pour célébrer, un en été et l’autre en hiver.

  • En fait, je m’appelle Vili et je viens de Bulgarie, qui est une pays orthodox. Là, j’ai de fête de la prenom en cours de Pâques, mais sur le Facebook j’utilise le nom Willy et j’ai vu que aujourd’hui c’est le fête de ce nom! Quelle coincidence! Merci, Géraldine de l’information! ^_^

  • Pas de fete de la Sainte Donna, mais mon fils Sebastien a la sienne le 20 janvier. Aux USA un enfant né en été (Séb, le 28 juillet) n’a pas l’occasion de fêter son anniversaire en classe pendant l’année scolaire (pour un petit de 4-5 à 10-11-12 ans, c’est un sacré big deal!). Sébastien fêtait, donc, la Saint Sébastien le 20 janvier; il partageait de préférence des pains aux chocolat avec ses camarades de classe lors du goûter de fête (avant la récré, d’habitude, pour que les enfants se dépensent après !). Séb a aujourd’hui 22 ans mais on lui souhaite encore bonne fête le 20 janvier (j’espère qu’il partage qqs pains au chocolat aves ses potes à la fac !). Merci, Géraldine; encore super-bien fait!

    • Super idée, Donna ! 🙂

      Ahahah, même à 22 ans, les traditions familiales demeurent… J’en ai aucun doute.

    • Connie,
      If your name is Concetta, like my grandmother Connie, then your feast day is Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Naming after Catholic feasts, not necessarily a saint’s day, is (or was) especially common in Italy. Thus, some women are named Assunta, after the feast of the Assumption on Aug. 15 or Annunziata after the feast of the Annunciation on Mar. 25. One that stands out for both women and men is Natalia and Natale respectively, and that feast day is of course Christmas day Dec 25. Just a few days ago, even with Geraldine’s video on la Galette des Rois, we celebrated the Italian name day of Epifanio. This is to say nothing about the festal origins of surnames in so many cultures.

  • It does and it’s the same day in Poland (27th August), because we have the same tradition 🙂 It even used to be much more common to celebrate name days than birthdays, but not anymore, younger generations usually celebrate birthdays. Sometimes one name (usually the popular one, not not always) can be found in the calendar a few times and such a person chooses one to celebrate, it’s usually the closest date to birthday. I don’t know if it works like this in France. We also have the same folk proverbs (a bit different, but the idea is the same). I didn’t know that some old traditions are so similar in France 🙂

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