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National Peter Day – March 21, 2023

National Peter Day, which takes place on March 21 every year, celebrates one of the world’s most beloved names and carries a deep connection to the Holy Spirit and the tales of Jesus Himself. If you’re fortunate enough to have been named Peter, then you stand amongst some of the most noteworthy people in our planet’s shared history. Peter is a name that carries an immense amount of strength with it, and in Greek, from where the name hails, it means ‘rock’ or ‘stone.’ Its significance in the western world is largely due to its appearance in the Bible, as Jesus renamed His Apostle, Simon Bar-Jona, Peter.

History of National Peter Day

The origin of the name Peter is derived from the Greek word ‘Petros,’ which directly translates to the word ‘stone’ or ‘rock.’ It was a common name in ancient times and spoke of inner strength and an unwavering constitution. Jesus chose to name Simon, his most dedicated apostle, Peter, also known as Cephas in Aramaic, who later became St. Peter. The name change had a fundamental impact on the evolution and popularity of the name as it spread, in many variations, to every corner of the globe.

Simon Peter, to many, is considered to be the first Pope of Jesus’ ministry, and with such a significant role during the life and resurrection of the Holy Savior, his name has almost eternal significance. Because Peter was thought to be Jesus’s right-hand man, the name Peter is synonymous with reliability. The actual name, Peter, took centuries to develop. The Normans brought it to England during various invasions, but in the form, Piers. It wasn’t until the 15th century that the name evolved into Peter. By the 1400s, significant role-players throughout the world began to carry the name Peter rather than the versions that came before.

As the name is of the divine word, its popularity among the nobility and common people throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance period never wavered, and to this day, it remains one of the most beloved and popular boys’ names. It is said to be the ideal name for parents to give their child, whom they want to raise in the Christian faith.

National Peter Day timeline

1 A.D.
Simon Peter

He is born in Bethsaida and is one of the most outspoken of the 12 apostles of Jesus.64 A.D.

64 A.D.
The Crucifixion of St. Peter

St. Peter dies in an upside-down crucifix in Vatican City during the time of Emperor Nero.

1672
Peter the Great

One of the finest leaders and monarchs Russia has ever known, he takes the throne at the age of 17, controls Russia, and contributes to its prosperity.1901

1901
“The Tale of Peter Rabbit”

Beatrix Potter, the author, is inextricably linked to the adorable little Peter Rabbit, who wins the hearts of people all over the world for more than a century.

National Peter Day FAQs

Is it Pieter or Peter?

The fluidity of names and the evolution of a name, depending on how it finds its path in the world, means that it is okay and quite common for variations of the name to pop up. For example, in the Zulu language, Peter is known as Petru.

Is Pete a real name?

Yes, it is most commonly used as a nickname or term of endearment. The shortened version of the original, Peter, is in its own right, used as a name today too.

Can Peter be used as a girl’s name?

While the name is considered masculine, there is no rule that a girl cannot or should not be given the name. However, traditionally, Petra is seen as the feminine version of the name.

National Peter Day Activities

  1. Read “The Tale of Peter Rabbit”

    If you haven't done so already, do yourself a favor and reconnect with one of the most classic and well-liked children’s book series of all time. It rose to fame because it combines humor and adventure while telling a moral lesson to the children.

  2. Find yourself a Peter

    Reach out to other Peters, but don't just talk to the ones who speak English. Depending on language and place, there are well over 100 different spellings of the name; you should learn more about those who share your wonderful name.

  3. Have a P-party

    In your honor and in honor of your great name being celebrated, throw a party where all the guests are required to dress in or as something beginning with the letter ‘P.’ It can be a costume party with characters whose names start with the letter ‘P,’ such as Peter Pan.

5 Facts About The Name Peter That You Should Know

  1. A name in the 21 century

    Statistically, the name Peter is no longer used with the same dedication that it once was; people feel the name is quite stiff and old-fashioned.

  2. Beatrix Potter published millions

    In total, roughly 45 million copies of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” have been sold globally, translated into 45 languages, and it is now most definitely a household name.

  3. Peter the Great

    Peter the Great, before he received the title, was known as Peter the first, as he was the first son in his royal family’s lineage to carry the name Peter; the former capital of Russia St. Petersburg was named in his honor.

  4. Statistically, you could have been a Peter

    In 2021, research suggested that you have a 0.095% chance of being named Peter.

  5. St. Peter’s Basilica

    It is regarded as one of, if not the most, holy sites on earth and is home to 130 Popes in addition to being the final burial place of St. Peter, the first Bishop of Antioch and Rome.

Why We Love National Peter Day

  1. It's a great name

    Not just because Peter the Great made it so, but because, as a name, it has filtered into every language and culture on the globe, in some form or another. It creates a significant link across cultures through one name.

  2. So many powerful influences for the name

    Throughout history, there have been pivotal moments where a Peter, from one corner of the world or another, has made an impact on human society. Even Peter Pan has been able to shape children’s lives with his story. Peter in modern society has as much significance today as it did hundreds of years ago.

  3. It celebrates our commonality

    National Peter Day actually serves as a day of unification because the name alone ties hundreds of thousands of people to the common experience of having the name Peter bestowed upon them at some point in history. A shared name can erase barricades of issues of race and ethnicity.

National Peter Day dates

YearDateDay
2023March 21Tuesday
2024March 21Thursday
2025March 21Friday
2026March 21Saturday
2027March 21Sunday

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