On August 4th I celebrate my namesday (Barbara) or "imieniny" as we say it in Polish. The day of our patron saint is more important than our birthday and there are important and practical reasons for it.
First, these days are usually related to old Polish traditions or seasons of the year. Second, celebrating the namesday does not reveal the age and everybody can easily figure out when your friend's birthday is just by checking the calendar. No need to use Birthday Alarm. :-)
My parents had first chosen to call me Elizabeth but somehow changed their mind when they saw my face. I wonder what made them call me Barbara, which is derived from Greek barbaros , meaning "foreign". Funny because this is the way I have always felt... even before knowing about the origin of this name.
Barbara is the patron of miners, architects, geologists, stonemasons and artillerymen.