Hronia Polla- it’s Greek for Many Years- to be exact. A phrase that is shared and expressed throughout the year; at New Year, Easter, Christmas and during Name Days. It’s a phrase as significant as Happy Birthday. It’s a warm phrase of congratulations, I acknowledge you- and the occasion we are celebrating today.
They’re an occasion- an annual event that is celebrated like no other. Name Days; a celebration honouring patron saints, people are named after. Name Days are such an integral aspect of religious and social Greek life. It’s a true day of celebration of one’s name. A day that many people are proud of. In fact in Greece- many people consider their Name Days more important than their birthday itself. It’s a day when people receive phone calls, messages, and visits from family and friends. A day that food and drink is shared in abundance- a day that front doors open to family and friends wishing to express their warmest sentiments- to the person of the home celebrating their Name Day. On the Greek Orthodox calendar, there are many days that have multiple Name days. In fact almost every day of the Greek Orthodox calendar celebrates a Name Day. Every person that is Baptized into the Greek Orthodox faith- is granted a name- that celebrates a Name Day. Chances are- every name thought of, has a Naming Day close to- or exactly matching a patron saint. Whether the person is alive or passed away, or even the saint themselves; Name days normally begin with mass at church, followed by a party or celebration- or a time of reflection of the saint that was or the loved ones- that once were part of our lives. Even though passed on, eternally remembered, cherished for life. An itemised calendar of Name Days can be found at https://www.greekboston.com/name-days/