How can I congratulate to somebody's name day in Spanish? What phrase is used?

I read about name days in Spain and it seems that name days are no longer celebrated in Spain. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_day#Spain_and_Latin_America)


This is not entirely accurate. It is true that name days are no longer celebrated in some parts of Spain, but they remain popular in others, such as Andalusia. In some places they are considered even more important than birthdays.

To congratulate, you have the general purpose ¡Felicidades! or the more specific ¡Feliz santo!. You would be fine with both options.

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  • True, in some places it is still very used, and more important than birthdays. A friend of mine, from Mallorca, always congratulates people's name day. His Facebook timeline is full of "felicidades a todos los [name]". – MikMik Nov 12 '13 at 9:26
  • @MartyIX, just to add some info, I think name's days are more celebrated in rural areas where religion is still very important. Also, there're some names that are more "celebrated" than others... For example most people know when San Juan or San José are, even if they are not religious at all, because for example on San Juan's night we usually do some party, and on San José we celebrate father's day as well... – MikO Nov 14 '13 at 15:34
  • In latin america is very common celebrate these days – Emilio Gort Nov 18 '13 at 16:33

"Feliz santo" Normalmente la felicitación por el santo tenía tanta importancia porque era habitual que cuando se bautizaba al bebé se le pusiera el nombre del santo como alguno de los "middle name", así que solía coincidir con el cumpleaños.

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You should note that Name Day can be used only when someone's name is christian. In Spain there are a lot of non-christian names (celtic, basque, canary guanche, etc) and I suppost it happens the same in Latin America with indian names.

After that, the correct expression would be 'Onomástica'. E.g. June 24th is the Name Day of King Juan Carlos I, widely celebrated among the Army ("Onomástica de S.M. el Rey"). But for congratulate somebody you would say "Feliz Santo" o "Felicidades".

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I would go for "¡Feliz santo!".

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