Hungarian Name Days

and other intersting facts with names

Hungarians not only have birthday, but nameday as well. Birthdays are usually celebrated just in immediate family. Namedays, however are widely known and celebrated. Each acceptable first name is assigned to one or more days of the calendar, based on religious traditions, historical events, birthday of a famous person who had the same first name, or on other facts. Well, in Hungary there are official first names to choose from, - but this is really a big list with almost all of the names that would be a real choice in a Hungarian family. But Hungarian parents must choose a first name from that list to their child.
Namedays are celebrated in work places, among friends and - of course - in the family. People usually give flowers, dessert or small gifts as present. There are smaller or larger parties to celebrate this day. On a day with a popular name you can see people with flowers on the streets, on buses, actually everywhere. You can find today's name on the top of this page, or you can take a look at my monthly tables below.
Another interesting fact is that in Hungary the first name is the last and the last is the first. It means you should change your first and last name to fit Hungarian customs. Famous composer Bela Bartok was called Bartok Bela in Hungarian.
Finally, the name of a woman can be confusing to those unfamiliar with this custom. The bride has a chance to choose from 3 possibilities.
  • 1. She may keep her maiden name in the marriege.
  • 2. She may keep her last name (that is first in English) and uses her husband's
    first name. This is similar to the customs in other countries and has become more and more popular recently.

  • 3. By the old Hungarian custom, the bride got the entire name of her groom with a -ne suffix at the and. Even though she was called by her previous first name no one could find it out from her official name.
    Read the list of name-days in the calendar.