National Lucy Day is celebrated on January 19 every year. This holiday is all about celebrating and appreciating all the people that carry this name. Lucy, an English feminine given name, derives from the Latin masculine given name Lucius. Lucius can mean “as of light,” “born at dawn or daylight,” ‘shiny,’ or ‘of light complexion.’ Some alternative spellings are Luci, Luce, Lucie, and Lucia. As a surname, it’s said to be taken from the Norman language that was Latin-based and derives from place names in Normandy. It was transmitted to England after the Norman Conquest during the 11th century.
History of National Lucy Day
According to the traditional story, Lucy was born to rich and noble parents around the year 283 A.D. as Lucia of Syracuse. Her father, a man of Roman origin, died when she was five years old, leaving Lucy and her mother without a protective guardian. Her mother, Eutychia, who suffered from a bleeding disorder, arranged for her to marry a young man from a wealthy pagan family, not knowing that Lucy had consecrated her virginity to God, hoping to distribute her dowry to the poor.
Eutychia was persuaded to make a pilgrimage to Saint Agatha’s shrine in Catania in hopes of a cure. St. Agatha appeared to Lucy in a dream and told her that due to her faith, her mother would be cured and Lucy would be the glory of Syracuse, the same as she was for Catania. She was able to persuade her mother to allow her to distribute her riches among the poor. Paschasius, the Governor of Syracuse, heard about this and ordered her to burn a sacrifice to the emperor’s image. When she refused, the governor sentenced her to be defiled in a brothel. The Christian tradition states that when the guards came to take her away, they could not move her even when they hitched her to a team of oxen. Then, they heaped bundles of wood about her and set them on fire, but they would not burn. Finally, she met her death around the year 304 A.D. by the sword thrust into her throat.
By the 6th century, her story was so widespread that she appeared in the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory I. She is remembered in the Church of England with a Lesser Festival on December 13. The General Roman Calendar used to have a commemoration of Saints Lucy and Geminianus on 16 September, but it was removed in 1969.
National Lucy Day timeline
Born as Lucia of Syracuse, her mother suffers from a bleeding disorder and is cured in St. Agatha’s shrine in Catania because of Lucy’s faith.
After refusing to burn a sacrifice to the emperor’s image, she is eventually killed.
She appears in the Sacramentary of Pope Gregory I and is later remembered with a Lesser Festival on December 13.
The commemoration dedicated to her and Geminianus in the General Roman Calendar is removed as it's a duplication of the feast of December 13.
National Lucy Day FAQs
Is Lucy a formal name?
Yes. Just like Mary, there’s no need to have a longer name like Lucile. It’s more traditionally given as an independent name.
How old is Lucy, the first human?
The fossil of one of the oldest known human ancestors, an Australopithecus afarensis, was discovered on November 24, 1974. She was nicknamed Lucy and “the first human,” and is about 3.2 million years old.
Is Lucy an old-fashioned name?
Lucy used to be popular in other countries long ago, but it is now still a popular name in the U.S.
National Lucy Day Activities
Spend time with a Lucy in your life
It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, a friend, a partner, or an acquaintance. This is a day to show her some appreciation, so make sure it shows!
Have your “me” time
If your name is Lucy, this is your day and you can do anything you want. Take a few hours off to relax and do something you’ve been wanting to do this week, like watch a movie. You’ve earned it.
Go out with the other Lucys you know
Go out and have fun with the other Lucys in your life. Take them to the bar or the club and have a good time!
5 Fun Facts About The Name Lucy
That is the number of people in the U.S. that are named Lucy, at the time of writing.
In 2021, it was ranked the 46th most popular girls name in the U.S.
4,433 baby girls
That is the number of baby girls born in 2021 with that name in the U.S.
Famous fictional characters named Lucy include Lucy van Pelt from "Peanuts," Lucy Westenra from "Dracula," and Lucy Ricardo from "I Love Lucy."
Famous people named Lucy include actress Lucy Liu, singer Lucy Kaplansky, and English author and journalist Lucy O'Brien.
Why We Love National Lucy Day
Every Lucy deserves love
Some Lucys out there may be feeling down today. This day is a good excuse to cheer them up if they need it!
We love the name
We’ve already mentioned how the name derives from 'light,' but we also like Lucy because as a short name, it just sounds very cute. It gives way to even cuter short nicknames, such as Lulu and Cece.
It’s a day to remember St. Lucy
Not many people know this saint’s story outside of Europe. We can use this day to reflect on her good deeds and the cruelty inflicted upon her. If you’re a Lucy, she may inspire you.
National Lucy Day dates