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Culture

Our Everyday Greek: This October we Celebrate Demetris and Dimitra in Greek

October 22, 2017
Dimitra Pontoporou

This October ask Dimitri and Dimitra about their nameday and say your wishes in Greek.

More than the birthday in Greece we have the tradition of celebrating our namedays, which are usually religious celebrations of a Saint of our Church. Most Greeks have Christian names. We use two expressions to say I celebrate my nameday:

  1. Εγώ γιορτάζω σήμερα. eYO yioRTAzo SEEmera. I celebrate today.
  2. Εγώ έχω τη γιορτή μου. eYO Eho TEE yioRTEE moo. I have my nameday, I celebrate my nameday.

Γιορτή (yioRTEE) comes from the verb γιορτάζω (yioRTAzo) .

DEMETRIS AND DIMITRA CELEBRATE ON ST. DEMETRIOS DAY

This is how we ask a person about his nameday:

  1. Δήμητρα, εσύ πότε γιορτάζεις; DEEmitra, eSEE POte yioRTAzis? Dimitra, when do you celebrate your nameday?
  2. Δημήτρη, εσύ πότε έχεις τη γιορτή σου; diMEEtri, eSEE POte Ehis TEE yioRTEE soo? Demetri, when do you celebrate your nameday?

This is the answer.

1.Εγώ γιορτάζω του Αγίου Δημητρίου. eYO yioRTAzo TOO aYEEoo dimiTREEoo. I celebrate on St. Demetrios day.

  1. Εγώ έχω τη γιορτή μου σήμερα. eYO yioRTAzo SEEmera. I have my nameday today.
  2. Η Δήμητρα γιορτάζει του Αγίου Δημητρίου. EE DEEmitra yioRTAzi TOO aYEEoo dimiTREEoo. Dimitra celebrates on St. Demetrios day.
  3. Ο Δημήτρης γιορτάζει του Αγίου Δημητρίου. O diMEEtris yioRTAzi TOO aYEEoo dimiTREEoo. Demetris celebrates on St. Demetrios day.

ΧΡΟΝΙΑ ΠΟΛΛΑ!

The below three wishes are the most common.

1.Χρόνια πολλά! HROnia poLA! Live long!

  1. Χρόνια πολλά και χαρούμενα! HROnia poLA KE haROOmena! Live long and happily!
  2. Με υγεία και χαρά! ME iyEEa KE haRA! With health and joy!

GREEK WORDS IN ENGLISH

The most common wish for any celebration including the nameday and the birthday is Χρόνια πολλά. Χρόνια means years and the word is familiar to you from the derivatives chrono+graphy, chronicle. The meaning of this wish is to live many years, to live long!

An equally common expression is Χρόνια πολλά και χαρούμενα. The happiness is added with the word χαρούμενα, which comes from the noun χαρά = happiness. The word charisma (transliteration of the Greek χάρισμα) comes the word χαρά.

Με υγεία και χαρά! means With health and joy!, Live healthy and joyfully! The word υγεία in English is found in the word hygiene.

BASIC VOCABULARY

Greek word    Pronunciation          Meaning

Εγώ γιορτάζω           eYO yioRTAzo          I celebrate

Εσύ γιορτάζεις          eSEE yioRTAzis      you celebrate

Η Δήμητρα γιορτάζει            EE DEEmitra yioRTAzi       Dimitra celebrates

Ο Δημήτρης γιορτάζει          O diMEEtris yioRTAzi          Dimitris celebrates

Του Αγίου Δημητρίου          TOO aYEEoo dimiTREEoo            on St. Demetrios day

Η γιορτή         EE yioRTEE  nameday, celebration, feast

Έχω τη γιορτή μου   Eho TEE yioRTEE moo      I have my nameday, my nameday is

Πότε    POte   when

Xρόνια HROnia        years

Πολλά poLA   many

Χρόνια πολλά           HROnia poLA           long live (wish)

Η Υγεία          EE iYEEa      health

Η χαρά           EE haRA       joy

Χαρούμενα    haROOmena joyful

Και      KE       and

Με       ME      with

MAIN PHRASES

Try to match the phrases in English with their translation in Greek:

WHEN IS YOUR NAMEDAY?

1.Ο Δημήτρης γιορτάζει σήμερα.   1. Dimitra celebrates her nameday today.

2.Εγώ γιορτάζω του Αγίου Δημητρίου.     2. I have my nameday today.

3.Εγώ έχω τη γιορτή μου σήμερα. 3. Demetris celebrates his nameday today.

  1. Η Δήμητρα γιορτάζει σήμερα. 4. I celebrate on St. Demetrios day.

BEST WISHES

1.Χρόνια πολλά.       1. Health and happiness!

  1. Με υγεία και χαρά. 2. Live long and happily!
  2. Χρόνια πολλά και χαρούμενα. 3. Live long!

PRONUNCIATION KEY

i (ill), ee (beer), e (ever), o (organ), oo (boot), y (yes), h (helium), th (theory), d (the). The capitalized syllables are accented.

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