We celebrate National Anna Day on October 22. The name Anna has been a popular girl’s name for centuries. The origin of the name comes from the Hebrew word meaning ‘grace’ and it is admired for its classy nature and connotations with feminine beauty. Anna is the Latin form of the name Hannah, which is also of Hebrew origins. Due to its association with Saint Anne, also known as the Virgin Mary’s mother, the name has become popular among Christians, which has contributed to the name’s widespread adoption in the Western world. On National Anna Day, we celebrate all those named Anna and appreciate their role in our lives.
History of National Anna Day
Classic and simple, Anna is a ubiquitous name in the world. Its simple pronunciation makes it versatile and timeless enough to be used as a name both in Western and non-Western cultures. In pre-Christian European times, the name can be found in Virgil’s epic poem “Aeneid,” where the character of Anna appears as Queen Dido’s sister. The name’s association with Christianity came from the Virgin Mary’s mother, who was named Saint Anne. Saint Anne was the patron saint of motherhood. As a result, the name has remained popular among Christians and Catholics for many centuries.
The Normans introduced the name to England in the 13th century, although the English usually dropped the ‘e’ in favor of Ann. Either way, both Anna and Ann are widely used in England today. Anna is derived from the Hebrew word ‘Channah’, which has also become a popular girl’s name (Hannah), meaning ‘grace,’ ‘beautiful,’ and “in favor.” Along with its common variations Anne or Ann, the name’s meaning became reinforced by several public figures throughout history and celebrities who embody these traits.
Saint Anne, Princess Anne, Anna Wintour, and Anna Kendrick are among the most known for exhibiting these traits. It is no wonder that the name is relatively popular among royals, with the aforementioned English Princess Anne and Anne of Bohemia and Hungary. Anne is one of the most versatile names in the world as various cultures have their own take on it. Common variations of the name include Annie, Ann, Anne, Annalise, Anya, Anja, Anika, Anais, and Nancy, which are all considered popular names in the United States, the Netherlands, Italy, Russia, Latin America, Germany, and many others. It is a truly international name with plentiful meanings.
National Anna Day timeline
Anais Nin, a novelist writes the first diary entries of which would later be compiled into her acclaimed seven-part “The Diary of Anais Nin” series.
Renowned American fashion designer Anna Sui launches her now globally renowned self-named brand.
Famed British-American fashion journalist Anna Wintour begins her long-running career as editor-in-chief of the American “Vogue” magazine.
English Royal Princess Anne is nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her charity work.
Former tennis champion Anna Kournikova announces her early retirement from the sport, citing health issues.
National Anna Day FAQs
Is Anna a rare name?
Anna is a commonly used name in the Western world. It has consistently ranked among the top 100 girls’ names in the United States since 1972, peaking at number 19 in 2001.
How many names are there for Anna?
Because of its common use, various cultures have their own takes and diminutives on the name. The most common nicknames for Anna include Ann, Anne, and Annie. The cultural derivatives of the name include Anneliese (Dutch), Annetta (Italian), Anika (German), Aneta (Czech), Anita (various cultures), Anniken (Norwegian), and Anais (French) among many others.
Which famous people were named Anna at birth?
Several famous figures were born with the name Anna but found fame using other names. Examples include Anne Frank (who was born Anna Frank), Eva Braun (whose full name is Eva Anna Paula Braun), and Eleanor Roosevelt (born Anna Eleanor Roosevelt).
National Anna Day Activities
Reach out to an Anna
Whether Anna is a mother, daughter, friend, co-worker, or grandmother, they have likely impacted your life. In the day's spirit, why not reach out to them or spend time with them to show that you care?
Read an Anna
Many Annas have written influential books over the centuries: Anais Nin, Anne Frank (birth name Anna), Anna Todd, and the list goes on. Pick up a book from one of these brilliant Annas and immerse yourself in their words.
Dress like an Anna
It never hurts to be fashion conscious. With Anna Sui and Anna Wintour being two of the biggest Annas in the fashion industry, the name itself has become associated with beauty, good taste, and intelligence. On National Anna Day, dress the part in a tribute to these figures, whether it's an Anna Sui piece or simply something that you’d think Wintour would approve of. Regardless, you’ll look great today.
5 Amazing Facts About Anna And Annas
Annas immortalized in song
There have been several songs with the name Anna over the years, such as The Beatles’ ‘Anna (Go to Him),’ Marvin Gaye’s ‘Anna’s Song,’ and Bach’s ‘Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach.’
A remarkable milestone
In 1992, Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong became the first Asian to star in a Hollywood film, “The Toll of the Sea.”
A twist of fate
The character of Anna in the 2014 Disney film “Frozen” was originally written to be the main villain.
She knows what she likes
Since 1994, Anna Wintour has been wearing the same style of Manolo Blahnik medium heels almost every day.
The fastest Anna in the land
The Anna's hummingbird flies at 25mph in normal flight and 40mph at its peak.
Why We Love National Anna Day
It is a name full of meaning and poise
We love the name Anna due to its timelessness, versatility, and depth in simplicity. It is also revered for its pious connotations and association with all things good. On National Anna Day, we show our love for the name by immersing ourselves in all things Anna.
It’s a day to appreciate all Annas of the world
This day is for all the Annas who have impacted your life in some way. It is the day that lets us express our appreciation for what they have done for us. Whether you know an Anna or look up to one, today’s the day to show them your love.
It pays tribute to the Annas who have changed history
Annas have helped shape history throughout the years in their respective fields. Some of the most famous people in fashion, politics, entertainment, literature, and science are Annas, and today we honor what they have given to the world.
National Anna Day dates