On the 7th of January the Bulgarian Orthodox Church celebrates Ivanovden (St. John’s day) – perhaps the most revered and well known of the so-called “name days”. On this day more than 300 000 Bulgarians have a reason to party (anyone named Ivan, Ivanka, Ivo, Iva, Vanya, Ivaylo, etc.). One of them is our own team member Vanya! We’d like to wish her health and happiness!
The day itself is devoted to the young family that got married in the previous year. Nowadays Ivanovday is yet another reason to have a good time since more then 174 000 Bulgarians are named Ivan. It is common to see friends of the person celebrating coming to his house uninvited, but he should’ve prepared a feast for them – that’s what the tradition says!
Ivanovday comes one day after St. Jordan’s day (6th of January) and the Bulgarian tradition commemorates the day as the beginning of something new and looking forward to health, happiness and good life.
You might also have a reason to celebrate in Bulgaria because you might be called Ivan… or something similar:
Italy – Giovanni
Germany – Johann / Jan
Hungary – János
Romania – Ion
Spain – Juan
France – Jean
Portugal – João
UK – John
For other countries, check the Wikipedia article.