The other day after I had been out without my phone I had received a couple text messages with the Spanish word used for wishing a happy birthday. In one of them, my friend had even gone through the trouble of finding out what happy birthday is in Norwegian, and had written it in Norwegian and Spanish. Very thoughtful and very nice! It’s just that my birthday was in May...
So - puzzled I thanked them so much for the messages, but kindly reminded them that my birthday was in May. It felt a bit awkvard. Didn’t want to seem ungrateful or anything you know.
And then I got the explanation. It was my Saint’s day! Great. Uhm... Knowing it was my Saint’s day didn’t help too much on my confusion though so I had to ask again, uncertain about what a Saint’s day was, and what it meant having one of those myself.
Spain is a Catholic country and most new borns are given names of saints. Turns out there are a LOT of saints and every saint has ”a day”, and every day has several saints. For instance someone called Francisco (Or Paco ifyou prefer the handy shortcut), can celebrate his ”dia de santo” San Francisco de Asís on October 4.
A lot of people celebrate the day of their Saint as if it was the birthday. Today, it’s the day of San Santiago, patron saint of Spain. So everyone called Santiago will be congratulated by their loved ones today.
|San Santiago el Mayor|
I also learned that some people get their name from the saint’s day on the day they were born. For instance I know a Manuel who were born on December 31. One of the Saints for December 31 is San Manuel!
Makes the name choosing more practical... I think I would still prefer to be the one to choose the name of a new born and not let the calendar decide! But anyhow, it's fun and I got myself a Saint's day- who would have thought?