National Name Yourself Day
Everybody needs a break from the norm every now and again. Sometimes we don’t feel like us. It is National Name Yourself Day, the ultimate form to express yourself. Ever felt more like a Charles or Carrie or a Moon Unit? You can, for one day! You can be anything you want for one day! You should be careful, though.
Unsurprisingly, names are an important part of welcoming a child into the world. Some places around the world don’t allow a child to be named until after a certain period of time. This was traditionally due to high infant mortality rates. This was likely psychologically as well as spiritual. Not giving a child an identity until they were no longer in immediate danger of death helped them not become attached. In some cultures, the child was considered to be a person until he was named.
A special ceremony is done in the Catholic Church to give a new member of church a name. This ceremony requires that at least one Catholic parent participate. It is expected that the child will be raised Catholic. The child is baptized to cleanse them of their sins and to be born again with Christ. The ceremony is usually held on Sundays so that the child can be welcomed into the community.
Naming a child in the Hindu faith is considered a sacred act. It involves the immediate family and close friends. Namkaran is the name of the elaborate ceremony and it is performed on the 11th day in the child’s lives. The first 10 days of a child’s life, the mother and the newborn are considered unclean. They are therefore traditionally separated from their families and only accompanied by a helper. The house is cleaned and blessed for the next ceremony on the 10th night. The mother dresses in new clothes and wets her baby’s head with water. This is a sign that the child has been purified. It is the Paternal Aunt that names the child. She whispers it to the child first, then announces it to the assembled people.
You can now take on a new name! You can dress up in your favorite clothes and liven it up by dressing up as your new name. You might want to cosplay if your name is an ancestral one. No matter what case it may be, this is your chance to use your new name.
You can encourage them to go along by wearing a prominently displayed ‘hello, my name is’ sticker. You can also get your friends involved by helping them to choose new names. This will help spread the joy of self-expression. Name yourself Day is only once a year. So take this chance to have fun, no matter if you’re a George, Georgina or Lucy. Give it a try and give it a go!