namesday

Today is my namesday, that means den' angela (день ангела) in Russian, which transliterated means day of angel (another word for it is imenini/именины which means namesday). So today is the day of my saint, that would be Saint Natalya (Natalia). She of course was a Christian martyr and you can read all the gory details here. Something prompted me today to google her and I found these images of various icons that I have not seen before, my favorite is above.
In Russia long ago namesdays used to be celebrated bigger and better than birthdays. You went to church for confession and communion and then had a party. And usually unless you were born into nobility your name got chosen from the church calendar on the day you were born. Imagine the choices... mine actually won't have been bad - Varvara (Barbara) is celebrated on my birthday. But I was named after my paternal grandmother, my babushka Natalya. Here she is at about age 15...