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Greek Naming Conventions

Namedays, not birthdays, are celebrated in Greece, and the process of choosing a name follows fairly rigid conventions. Greece has kept this tradition in light of other cultures picking names because the parents 'like the sound of it'. Even naming a child after a parent is unsual in Greece.

The eldest son is often named after the paternal grandfather, and the eldest daughter the paternal grandmother. Names are usually of religious origin. Each island or area in Greece has a patron saint, and people living in that area give their children that name. Non-religious families often use the names of the olympians for their children. Since 98% of Greeks belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, this does not represent too many people.

Help us put together a list of all the patron saints by area/island. If you know of any, please send us an Email with the information.




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