We celebrate National Helen Day every June 9. It’s an annual celebration of the historic and beautiful name. Helen is a girl’s name that originated in Greece, and it means ‘bright’ or “shining light.” For those named Helen, today is a time to trace back the name’s history and dive deep into its etymology. Over the years, there have been many Helens who have contributed immensely to society. Join us as we celebrate this wonderful name and those who bear it.
History of National Helen Day
National Helen Day is an occasion for every person named Helen to celebrate. The first thing that comes to mind when we hear it might be the turbulent history of Troy and Sparta. Helen, the daughter of Zeus and Leda, was a prominent figure in Greek mythology, known primarily for causing the Trojan War. Some legends claim that Paris, the Prince of Troy, abducted her. Other versions tell a tale of love and passion between Helen and Paris that angered her husband, Menelaus. Nevertheless, the classic story of Helen’s abduction (or elopement) immortalized the name.
Helen means ‘light,’ ‘torch,’ or, sometimes, “the bright one.” It was popular in Greece and the surrounding region before spreading throughout Europe during the Renaissance period. Soon, the name found itself on American soil, where it flourished. Apart from Helen of Troy, another well-known Helen was the mother of Emperor Constantine the First. Christian legend says that she found a piece of the cross Jesus Christ was crucified on when she traveled to Jerusalem.
The name was one of the most famous in the U.S. between 1910 and 1920. Through the decades, however, its popularity has wavered. The number of people named Helen has been declining.
National Helen Day timeline
Helen of Anjou rules over the Serbian kingdom and initiates numerous cultural reforms.
Egerton, an influential Canadian writer, is born.
Helen Keller publishes her autobiography “The Story of My Life.”
Israel awards Helen of Greece and Denmark, queen mother of King Michael of Romania, the honorary position of ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ for her efforts in saving Romanian Jews during World War II.
National Helen Day FAQs
What is the biblical meaning of Helen?
Helen is a Christian name meaning ‘torch’ or ‘light.’
Is Helen a Greek goddess?
In Greek mythology, Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda. She was also the queen of Sparta and a major figure in the Trojan War.
How common is Helen’s name?
During the 1900s, Helen ranked second on the popularity index. Although it remains a prevalent name in the U.S., not as many people give it to their children.
National Helen Day Activities
Tell a Helen
If you know someone named Helen, reach out to them. Wish them a happy National Helen Day and explain the day to them.
Send a message
A message, even just a short one, can mean a lot. Send a friendly and appreciative message to a Helen in your life.
Throw a party
Host a party for all the Helens on your contact list. Invite your friends and ask them to bring other acquaintances. This is an excellent day to celebrate them all!
5 Fascinating Facts About Helens That You Should Know
The Serbian Orthodox Church recognizes Helen of Anjou as a saint.
The Hellenistic period
The period between 323 B.C. and 1 B.C. in Greece is called the Hellenistic Period, from ‘Hellas,’ the former name of Greece.
The first deafblind college graduate
Helen Keller was the first deafblind person to earn a college degree.
Helen at its peak
Helen was the second-most popular name at the beginning of the 1900s.
There were only around 700 babies named Helen in 2021.
Why We Love National Helen Day
We can learn about the name
Helen is an ancient and storied name. This day encourages us to learn all the myths and folklore behind it.
We can meet new people
This is the perfect day to meet a Helen. If you do encounter one, tell them all about National Helen Day! We love the smile from a person hearing they have a day dedicated to celebrating their name.
It reminds us of all the significant Helens
Many people named Helen have left their marks on the world. National Helen Day reminds us to honor their memories and legacies.
National Helen Day dates