Czech name days and birthdays

Discussion in 'Culture' started by gmcquilken, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. gmcquilken

    gmcquilken New Member

    I was wondering how Czechs celebrate name days and birthdays. I have a Czech friend who is coming to stay with me and i want to make him feel comfortable. Thank you.
  2. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    I can only speak from my own experience and it would be helpful to get other people's input. I think a birthday is more important than a name day and I'm used to giving and receiving more significant presents for a birthday than for a name day. It is also more common to have a birthday party than a "name day party" - unless it is March 19th when the whole country seems to know the name day is Josef - historically a popular Czech name - and more people may be celebrating.

    If you are not able to be there in person for someone's big day, you should send them a card. Otherwise, giving a card when you're there in person is not expected and not common.

    Czechs are social animals and they like to party with friends and family to celebrate things. For some people, cake with or without candles is an important part of a brithday celebration, especially if it is a "round year" as we call it - 20, 30, 40, etc. - which also usually calls for a big party when many people (family and friends - or separately as two parties) gather together to eat, drink and chat (my family also likes to sing traditional Czech songs long into the night [​IMG]).

    As Americans celebrate with food, Czechs celebrate with drink (although food is also a big part). So aside from open-faced sandwiches ("chlebíčky"), canapés ("jednohubky"), sweets and other snacks, there is always a nice wine, "slivovička" or another favorite liquor present at the table.

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