National Lee Day – December 21, 2022

National Lee Day is on December 21 and occasionally on March 22 annually. Who says you can’t celebrate your name twice a year? Lee is a well-known name; currently, it ranks as the 232nd most common surname worldwide. It’s derived from a geographical locality ‘at the lea,’ from ley, legh, lea, or lay, a grassy plain Lee. In Anglo-Saxon, Lee means a fallow pasturage; its feminine version ‘Leah’ signifies a rough woodland pasture. Name days are worth celebrating since names are our identities; whether self-given or named at birth, they’re what we call ourselves in the world. Without names, it would be impossible to fill out hospital forms, have presidents, or sign up for some of your favorite activities. Today we celebrate the Lees in the world from all different walks of life because they’re dear to us.

History of National Lee Day

Lee is a unisex name with several variations like Leah, Leigh, Leroy, Morly, Morleigh, Morry, Raleigh, Rawley, Rawls, e.t.c. Like many words, a name can have several meanings in different languages and parts of the world.

In Hebrew, Lee means ‘weary;’ in Old English, it means ‘glade’ or ‘small meadow;’ in Gaelic and Irish, it means ‘poet;’ in Chinese, it means ‘plum;’ in Old French, it means ‘king.’ In English topography, it’s a name given to anyone living near a meadow or a patch of arable land. It started gaining popularity as a male name after the civil war in South America but steadily declined in the second half of the 20th century.

Lee is also a common surname in England, China, Ireland, and Canada. One of the earlier Lee families in England dates back to the 1300s; people believe they produced the first Lee family in America ― Richard Lee was born of this family and was a Royalist commander for the Civil war. There were also a few Romanian gypsy Lees in the 1400s. A few hundred years later, few Lees appeared in Buckinghamshire, Ireland. South Koreans trace their own Lee name history to the Yi Dynasty in China, which ruled for a few hundred years between the 1300s to the 1900s.

National Lee Day timeline

1800s
A Popular Lee in History

Robert Edward Lee, an American Confederate general, serves in the American Civil War.

1900s
A Popular Male Name

Lee ranks as the 39th most popular male name.

1955
A Popular Female Name

Lee ranks as the 182nd most popular female name.

1990s
Not So Popular Anymore

Lee falls off the top 1,000 names for baby girls.

National Lee Day FAQs

Is Lee an Asian name?

Lee, also spelled ‘Li,’ is a prominent Chinese surname. It has other connotations in South Korea and Vietnam ― Ly.

Where is the name Lee most popular?

In 2018, Lee was the second most common surname in Hong Kong. It also ranked #15 among the most popular surnames in America.

How are Lees’ personalities?

Lees are often full of life, positive, uplifting, and charming. They are also sympathetic and compassionate people.

National Lee Day Activities

  1. Send an eCard

    Send a happy ‘name day’ ecard. It takes little to no time and makes for a pleasant surprise.

  2. Buy flowers

    A name day is a good reason to buy flowers for a friend or acquaintance. Be sure to get beautiful flowers.

  3. Treat your friends to snacks

    Everyone loves pastry! Treat your friends to some today; they’ll appreciate the gesture.

5 Interesting Facts About Famous Lees

  1. Lee Anderson Grant

    He was a professional footballer, goalkeeper, and team coach for E.F.L. League One.

  2. Lee Calvin White

    He was an advisor to both Presidents John Kennedy and Johnson.

  3. Leon James ‘Lee’ DeWyze

    He is an American singer-songwriter and winner of the ninth season of American Idol.

  4. Lee Grant

    She was an American actress, documentarian, and film director.

  5. Lee Minto

    She is an American women's health activist and sex education advocate.

Why We Love National Lee Day

  1. It’s like an extra birthday

    You get gifts of endearment and affection because of your name. Also, no one bothers you with questions about your age.

  2. It’s educational

    Every name day is a learning opportunity. Educate yourself on some of your favorite and common names.

  3. It upholds tradition

    A name day is a feast day of the saint whose name you share. Observing this day commemorates the importance of our names.

National Lee Day dates

YearDateDay
2022December 21Wednesday
2023December 21Thursday
2024December 21Saturday
2025December 21Sunday
2026December 21Monday

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