The Spanish Language Blog
  • The name day is similar to your birthday in terms of celebration. You get visitors and small gifts and all kinds of treats are brought out. So in Spain, people named after a saint actually have two birthdays.
  • For those without a name day, there is All Saints' Day. This day always falls on November 1 and is a day off in many countries.
  • It is sometimes said that in Spain every day is a holiday. This is largely because each village has its own patron saint who is commemorated on the day he died. And since there are quite a few villages in Spain ...


If you are named after a saint, you are lucky to have two birthdays a year. The name day is often celebrated on the day the saint you are named after died and is celebrated to honor and remember that saint. Naming days go a long way; for example, if you are named after Saint San José, you can be called José, but so can Fina or Pepe. In addition, it does not matter whether the name of the saint you are named after is male or female; in fact, the female namings Nicole and Nicoletta of the male saint Saint Nicholas are often used. Name Day in Spain is celebrated much the same as a birthday. It is celebrated with food, cakes, drinks, flowers and visits from family and close friends who often bring a small gift. If you are not named after a saint, you may celebrate your name day on All Saints Day.

All Saints' Day

The Christian feast that falls on Nov. 1 and has to do with Día del Santo is All Saints' Day. It is celebrated among Catholics and Anglicans, and in the Catholic Church it is an important feast. On this day, all saints are commemorated. Many countries, including Spain, consider November 1 a national holiday. In the Netherlands, however, this was abolished in 1960. This holiday is celebrated in Spain with special food for All Saints' Day: huesos de santos (bones of saints, rolled up marzipan) and donuts..

"Every day there is a party somewhere in Spain." That's right! Because because, among other things, every village has its own patron saint, it seems like every day is a celebration. A patron saint is a saint or angel who is considered and revered as the protector of a city and whose name one can receive at a baptism. For example, Valencia has San José and the city honors him with the famous Fallas festival. Benicassim holds a week of fiestas in January to honor San Antonio and in early September Salamanca has a week of fiestas with bullfights and a parade, in honor of the Virgen de la Vega. The saints are very important in Spain and at the same time provide many fiestas throughout the country and year.

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