Everybody needs love — including anyone named Kevin. If you have been neglecting your Kevins lately, here’s your chance to right a wrong. National Kevin Day aka National Hug-a-Kevin Day (not to be confused with Kevin Day, a British comedian) takes place on October 3 or April 20, depending on how much traffic social media users generate for either day. (Yes, this is a fairly crazy day to research and follow but we’re doing our best to make sense out of it.) Bottom line, grab a Kevin (with permission, of course) and give a hug.
History of National Kevin Day
The first Kevin we can find on record is Saint Kevin in 6th century Ireland. He sounds like quite the chap, having founded Glendalough Abbey in the Kingdom of Leinster. He is one of the patron saints of the Archdiocese of Dublin.
Things got pretty quiet on the Kevin front from then up until the 20th century, when Kevin became a very popular name, particularly in the 1950s. Many attribute the name’s rise in popularity to the actor Kevin McCarthy who shot to fame for his role in Death of a Salesman in 1951.
For Kevin’s in the U.S things reached a peak in 1963, with it being the 11th most popular name chosen that year. Sadly it has been on a steady decline ever since and in 2016 it was ranked as the 89th most popular boy’s name in the country. Its decline in the UK has been even more severe, with Kevin dropping out of the top 100 most popular names way back in the 1990s.
It’s not all bad though for our Kevins. The name peaked in Germany in 1991, largely due to Kevin McCallister in Home Alone, it seems they loved Macaulay Culkin’s little rascal and his mischievous ways.
Notable Kevins of our time include the actor Kevin Bacon, the Belgian Premier League soccer player Kevin DeBruyne, and comedian and actor Kevin Hart. All of whom are doing Kevins everywhere proud.
National Kevin Day timeline
During the sixth century, St. Kevin, a monk and hermit, founded a monastery at Glendalough in County Wicklow, Ireland.
Sammy Davis Jr. grabbed President Nixon from behind and gave him a hug at the Republican National Convention. This raised some eyebrows — as you can well imagine.
Presidential candidate Walter Mondale and his vice-presidential running mate Geraldine Ferraro made headlines for NOT hugging each other during their campaign.
Tom Daschle, Democratic senator from South Dakota, angered Republicans during his campaign by appearing to hug George W. Bush in a show of national unity during a campaign ad.
In a failed attempt to drum up interest in its new sitcom based on a character named Kevin Finn, ABC pushed October 10 as National Hug-a-Kevin Day but the sitcom only lasted one season.
National Kevin Day Activities
Be Kevin for a day
It's National Kevin Day, so honor Kevins everywhere by trying on their name for just one day. Introduce yourself as Kevin to strangers. Tell your friends you changed your name to Kevin just to see what happens. If you're a woman, tell everybody that Kevin is trending high as a woman's name on Instagram. They'll believe you because who wouldn't believe someone named Kevin?
Take a poll
Grab your clipboard, pen and paper. Stand on the busiest street in your town and ask passersby how they feel about Kevins. (But don't mention Kevin Spacey — could be dicey.) Be open-minded to all kinds of views about the name. Be sure to remind everyone that they should do something special in a Kevin's name on National Kevin Day.
Write an ode to Kevin
Are you an up and coming poet? Consider penning a poem to or about Kevin. Kevin may be real or may be imaginary. It's your Kevin so you decide how you want to play it. But remember, Kevin might be easily hurt if you make fun of his name on National Kevin Day.
5 Reasons To Love Kevins — And Hugging
It's not a popular name
If you're named Kevin, you have the 58th most popular name in the U.S. right behind Wayne and Phillip.
So many Kevins — so little time
If your name is Kevin and you live in America, there are 1,531,990 other Kevins residing somewhere in the USA.
Your name could end up in a rap
Check out these names that rhyme with Kevin — Devin, Nevin, Levin, Evin, Sevin, and even Keevan.
It's an Irish baby name
In Gaelic, Kevin means, "Handsome By Birth."
And now something else about hugging
President Johnson had a weird take on hugging because he believed that you should "hug your friends tight, but your enemies tighter — hug 'em so tight they can't wiggle".
Why We Love National Kevin Day
It involves hugging
Depending on who you ask, we believe National Kevin Day is really part of National Hugging Day or National Hug-a-Kevin Day. Either way, it was started by a Kevin — Reverend Kevin Zaborney in 1986. The good reverend was convinced that Americans needed a lift between Christmas and Valentine's Day when spirits seemed low. Thus, hugging and the name Kevin became one.
It was part of a media promotion
In 2017, the ABC network launched a new show called "Kevin Probably Saves the World." To promote it, the marketing folks at ABC came up with National Hug-a-Kevin Day. Jason Ritter, who played Kevin on the show, vowed to break the Guinness World Record for "Most Hugs in One Minute." Ritter did break the world record but the show got cancelled after one season, which probably meant that "Kevin" really did need a hug.
Kevin or not, everybody needs a hug
Hugging a Kevin on National Kevin Day or National Hug-a-Kevin Day or whatever, means that hugging can be very healthy. If you're not feeling good about yourself, a nice warm hug (with permission) can help. Hugging has other health benefits like lowering blood pressure as well as increasing a sense of relaxation and calm. Hugging just makes both the hugger and the huggee feel so much better.
National Kevin Day dates