National Joshua Day is on December 25 each year. Joshua is many things at once. Some of you may know him as the lovable Josh — familiar, traditional, and always sunny. In Abrahamic religions, the name carries significant weight and importance. He was Moses’ right hand, after all, leading the people of Israel into the promised land. The legacy of excellence seems to have lived on. The Joshuas of today aren’t just leaders wherever they go — they’re also at the top of our list of favorite people.
History of National Joshua Day
The name Joshua has a ring of wisdom and gravitas attached, which is almost expected given its origins. Joshua comes from Yehoshua in Hebrew, meaning “God is my salvation.” ‘Yeho’ means God, while ‘shua’ means deliverance or salvation.
Joshua is an especially familiar name for anyone well-versed with the ‘Old Testament’ in the “Bible.” Joshua accompanied Moses up Mount Sinai to receive the ‘Ten Commandments.’ Joshua went to Canaan with twelve other spies in pursuit of the Promised Land. When Moses died, Joshua succeeded him as the leader of the Israelites who took charge of the march into Canaan.
As language and time evolved, the letter ‘Y’ in Yehoshua became ‘I’0 in Latin. The name changed to Iesus. Much later, ‘J’ replaced the ‘I,’ and the name became Jehoshua before eventually settling into the Joshua that the English-speaking world knows today. While a biblical name, it has an equivalent in most other languages: the Spanish Joaquin, Iokua in Hawaii, and Josva in Danish, to name a few. Finally, we would be remiss not to mention the endearing nickname Josh that everyone knows and loves.
Since the 1970s, Joshua has been a favorite name for boys in the U.S. Joshua reached the list of top 10 in 1979, where it remained for 30 years. What’s more, Joshuas today seem to be topping other lists outside of famous baby names — from music to films and sports. On National Joshua Day, we celebrate their achievements. We hope Joshuas everywhere know just how incredible they are.
National Joshua Day timeline
As the perfect Pacey in “Dawson’s Creek,” Jackson sets the bar too high for real-life relationships.
Joshua is the third-most popular name for baby boys in the U.S.
Josh Groban’s angelic voice moves us to tears in ‘You Raise Me Up’ while elevating him to America’s number one best-selling artist.
Josh Brolin is unforgettable as the philosophizing supervillain Thanos in the “Avengers: Infinity War.”
National Joshua Day FAQs
How popular is Joshua in the world?
The name Joshua has declined in popularity. A few years ago, one of every 309 boys had the name.
What does the Joshua Tree symbolize?
The Joshua Tree grows in harsh environments. It gets its name from the Prophet in the ‘Old Testament,’ Joshua. The band U2 popularized the tree as a symbol of hope in the middle of adversity.
What is Jesus’ real name?
The name Jesus has close associations with Joshua. Jesus’ original name was Yeshua, which was Aramaic for the Hebrew Yehoshua.
National Joshua Day Activities
Show Josh some love
Being everyone’s rock must get exhausting. Give Joshua a breather or, better still, do something exceptionally wonderful for him today.
Drive to inspiration
Take Joshua to Joshua Tree National Park in California. The surreal park is a fantastic place to lose and rediscover yourself.
Watch “The West Wing”
While we don’t need a reason to revisit Aaron Sorkin’s masterpiece, today's the perfect excuse. Binge-watch the show for the genius of the fictional character Josh Lyman!
5 Facts About Josh Radnor That Will Blow Your Mind
He kept the ultimate souvenir
After playing Ted Mosby in “How I Met Your Mother,” Radnor requested and got to keep the Blue French Horn.
He has unlikely roots
Radnor grew up Conservative Jewish and attended an Orthodox Jewish day school.
Someone else could’ve played Ted Mosby
The producers’ first choice was Scott Foley, who turned down the role.
He wears multiple hats
Radnor is also an author, theater practitioner, award-winning filmmaker, and musician.
Like Mosby, he has a doppelganger
Radnor and Mexican football player Guillermo Ochoa look freakishly alike.
Why We Love National Joshua Day
It’s a chance to make someone’s day
Everyone deserves appreciation and to be taken care of. This is especially true of the Joshuas in our lives who typically take care of everything.
It’s some self-appreciation too
The occasional validation from others is great. However, the most valuable opinion is the one you have of yourself, Joshua!
It’s a historical deep dive
The name Joshua and religious history are almost synonymous. In celebrating Joshua, we unearth fascinating facts about world religions and languages.
National Joshua Day dates