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National King Day – January 23, 2023

National King Day takes place on January 23. The name King is predominantly a male American name meaning ‘ruler.’ In a variety of contexts, a male ruler is referred to as a king. In religion, the word ‘king’ is significant. A prominent legend says that monarchs must die in order to ensure the welfare of their subjects. It’s documented in Sir James Frazer’s “Golden Bough,” which offers numerous examples of beliefs that a king “must be murdered as soon as his abilities begin to weaken.”

History of National King Day

The English word ‘king’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘cyning,’ which comes from the Common Germanic word ‘kuningaz.’ The English phrase translates to and is considered equivalent to the Latin ‘rex’ and its many European language equivalents. The term ‘king’ is of Germanic origin and historically relates to Germanic kingship, which was a sort of tribal kingship in the pre-Christian period.

By the 8th century in Western Europe, the Frankish kingdom had evolved into the Carolingian Empire, and the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England had merged into the kingdom of England by the tenth century. Following the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th century, feudalism established a pyramid of ties between liege lords and vassals, with kings at the top. The European kingdoms had a general tendency toward power centralization during the European Middle Ages. By the Late Middle Ages, Europe had several powerful kingdoms.

Following the Norman conquest of southern Italy, the kingdom of Sicily was created in southern Europe. In 1324, the Crown of Aragon claimed the Kingdom of Sardinia as a separate title. The Kingdom of Serbia was founded in 1217 in the Balkans. The first known king was King Sargon of Akkad, who, according to legend, was destined to rule. He founded the world’s first empire in Mesopotamia in 2330 B.C., more than 4,000 years ago. When translated, his name meant “true king.”

National King Day timeline

2330 B.C.
The First King

The first known king, King Sargon of Akkad, founds the world's first empire in Mesopotamia.

17th Century
Kingship Becomes Constitutional

Kingship is made constitutional in England and in other countries afterward.

1902
Alfonso XIII

Alfonso XIII, a Spanish king, hastens his own fall by Second Republic supporters.

1929
Martin Luther King Jr.

King, an American Baptist clergyman and activist, is born on January 15.

National King Day FAQs

Is there still a king in Spain?

Yes, Felipe VI has been the King of Spain since 2014.

Who was England's first king?

Athelstan was the first king.

Who is the world's oldest royal family?

It is the Imperial House of Japan, according to legend.

National King Day Activities

  1. Treat yourself to dinner

    You don't have to wait for your pals to buy you supper and drinks to celebrate your birthday. That is something you can do for yourself.

  2. Make beaded jewelry

    Make some beaded jewelry and see what you can come up with. Make some fancy jewelry for yourself by purchasing beads with letters that spell out your name.

  3. Make yourself a crown

    Your name literally means royalty so why not dress the part? Make yourself a crown or buy yourself one. It doesn’t matter as long as a crown is involved.

5 Interesting Facts About Kings

  1. The King of Thailand

    The current Thai king's first name is about 179 characters.

  2. King Richard I

    After his death, King Richard I was shot and his heart was interred separately from the rest of his body.

  3. Your majesty

    King Henry VIII was the first monarch in England to be addressed as ‘Your Majesty.’

  4. High-end textiles

    King Louis XIV was known for his fashion sense, and he helped to establish France as a prominent producer of high-end textiles.

  5. A polar bear pet

    In 1252, King Haakon IV of Norway presented King Henry III with a white bear.

Why We Love National King Day

  1. Names shape our identity

    The name we were given by our parents could be the most significant thing we own. It distinguishes us from others and molds our personalities and uniqueness.

  2. Names garner attention

    The sound of your name being called usually drowns out any noise. You've been trained to respond to the sound of your name since birth. It is a person's most important link to their own identity.

  3. Names help form relationships

    Names are significant in new relationships because they relate to a person's identity and personality. People are more likely to feel linked when they share a name.

National King Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 23Monday
2024January 23Tuesday
2025January 23Thursday
2026January 23Friday
2027January 23Saturday

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