National Harold Day is celebrated on July 29 every year. It’s a day to celebrate all historical figures, pop culture icons, and anyone you might know with the name of Harold. From American singer and songwriter Harold Belafonte to former football player Harold Carmichael, we highlight all the famous Harolds in the world. But this day is not just about the icons — if your name is Harold, it’s your day too! It’s time to dive deep into the origin of the name, its meaning, cultural and etymological definition, as well as different deviations.
History of National Harold Day
There are several origin stories for the name Harold, depending on which side of the world you turn to. In the Old English language, it came from the name ‘Hereward’ derived from the words ‘here’ meaning ’army’ and ‘ward’ which meant ‘power.’ In the old Nordic times, the popularity of the name ‘Harald’ or ‘war chief’ rose to prominence when Scandinavian settlers reached England. Haraldr was also the given name of three kings of Denmark and five kings of Norway, including Harold II, who lost and was killed in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. After the Norman Conquest, the name became less popular as people tried to detach themselves from the defeat.
After ‘Harold-less’ centuries, the name ‘Harold’ became in style in the 19th century. Some of the most prominent Harolds included British linguist Harold Walter Bailey, British photographer Harold Baker, pianist Harold Craxton, and American chemist Harold Urey, to name a few.
The popularity of the name Harold continued in the 20th century with famous people like Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt, Oscar-nominated actor Hal Holbrook (birth name Harold Holbrook), American jazz pianist Harold Danko, and German musician Harold Faltermeyer.
However, the commercialization of the name Harold happened when the 1971 comedy-drama film “Harold and Maude” was released. It starred Ruth Gordon and Brad Curt and was nominated for several awards, including Best Actor and Best Actress at the 1972 Golden Globes.
By the 1980s, Harold was considered as somehow dated and old-fashioned, and once again took a step back in baby names. But in the 1990s, more cheery variations came into the picture like ‘Harry’ and ‘Hal.’ This continued in the early 2000s after the release of the Harry Potter franchise, and a new generation of ‘Harry’ babies was born.
National Harold Day timeline
The king is killed in the Battle of Hastings, marking the end of the prominence of the name.
The name “Harold” comes back into fashion as a famous baby name.
The movie “Harold and Maude” contributes to the popularity of the name Harold.
The nicknames “Hal” and “Harry” become popular and are derived from Harold.
National Harold Day FAQs
Is Harold a Biblical name?
While “Harold” is a common Christian name, it’s not a name that’s present in the Bible per se.
What does Harold mean?
Harold can mean either ‘chief army’ from its Nordic origin or ‘messenger’ from the term ‘herald.’
What is the French name for “Harold?”
The French equivalent for the name “Harold” is “Herault.”
National Harold Day Activities
Send Harold a card
If you have a friend or relative whose name is “Harold,” the perfect way of celebrating National Harold Day is by sending them a card. Let them know that you’re thinking of them and celebrate them today.
Watch “Harold and Maude”
If you’re a fan of comedy-drama films, “Harold and Maude” is the perfect movie to watch on National Harold Day. Grab a bucket of popcorn and enjoy!
Binge on the “Harry Potter” series
National Harold Day is the perfect excuse to binge-watch the “Harry Potter” series. It’s a franchise that can be watched for an entire day. There’s no better way of spending the day than by going to Hogwarts!
5 Interesting Facts About The Name Harold
Harold in Spanish
Harold’s Spanish equivalent is ‘Haroldo.’
Harold in ancient times
Chariovalda or “Hariwald” was a chieftain in the Roman Empire.
Harold in the 2010s
Directors Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach name their first born baby “Harold.”
Harold in Irish
Harold in Ireland is occasionally called “Harrell” or “Hurrell.”
The most famous 1990s “Harold”
The most famous ’90s kid with a name derived from “Harold” is Harry Styles.
Why We Love National Harold Day
It’s an underrated name
Not many babies are named Harold these days! It’s a great time to have it back in fashion.
We love Harry Styles
Who doesn’t love Harry Styles? National Harold Day is a great way to listen to his music and admire his artistry.
We salute Prince Harry
We admire Prince Harry and everything he stands for. He’s the definition of a modern Prince who would go against tradition to fight for what is right.
National Harold Day dates