Czechs named Petr and their two name days

In Culture, Life, Love on February 22, 2009 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: ,

namedayIn many countries people celebrate name days. In the Czech Republic, each day corresponds to one or more names and people celebrate their name days and they get gifts (just like they do on birthdays).

For some reason, there are Czech names that are not listed in the name day calendar. And oddly enough, men named Petr have TWO name days: one on February 22 and one on June 29 – together with Pavel (Paul).

I was once told that having name days like this in the U.S. would be impossible, considering the number of names people can have. In the Czech Republic, there is only Katerina. And I know 5 women named Kate and each of them is spelt differently.

On December 24, by the way, Adam and Eva celebrate their name day. So if a boy is born on December 24 (Christmas Day) and if his parents name him Adam, he celebrates Christmas, birthday and name day on the same day, which means no presents for the rest of the year. Bummer…

2 Responses to “Czechs named Petr and their two name days”

  1. My friend Adam told me that whenever an Adam meets an Eva (there being lots of each in Czech) at a bar or something , it’s an immediate ice-breaker: ‘Oh, you got screwed out of presents too.’ I like this.

    I didn’t know that about the Czechs doubling up on Petr and Pavel — how typically idiosyncratic of them. I guess if you knew one of each, you could withhold Petr’s present and give it to Pavel, thereby literally ‘robbing Petr to pay Paul’.

  2. […] Bokuvka’s post on this subject over at The Czech Daily World brought to mind two additional points on this topic. First, as […]

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