Finland is one of the countries in Europe which celebrates Name Days (called Nimipäivä in Finnish). The tradition of celebrating Name Days dedicates a name or names (male and female) to every calendar day of the year. A person then celebrates a Name Day on the day in the calendar where his or her given name appears.
Tom of Finland was born on May 8th, 1920 with the name “Touko Valio Laaksonen”. May in Finnish is “Toukokuu”. His Name Day is May 24th.
The names used, and their date placement, on the calendar are often associated with religious names, religious days, national historical personalities and national historical events. Traditional country-specific given names, and even new given names which have been integrated and accepted into a list of nationally recognized names are also given their own position on the calendar.
In Finland, Name Days can be celebrated in the same way as a Birthday, where the individual having the Name Day will receive greeting cards, flowers or gifts from friends and family. Name Day celebrations, do however, differ from person to person and some individuals may choose not to mark the day with “pomp and circumstance”. Nevertheless, regardless of how a person celebrates his/her Name Day, they appreciate being wished “Happy Name Day!” (which in Finnish is “Hyvää Nimipäivää!”)