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National Rachel Day – January 21, 2023

National Rachel Day is celebrated on January 21 of every calendar year. Rachel is a female given name of Hebrew origin that means ‘ewe’ (a female sheep), or ‘the one with purity.’ Ashkenazi Jewish matronymic surnames ‘Rokhlin,’ ‘Raskin,’ ‘Raskine,’ ‘Rashkin,’ and ‘Rashkind’ are derived from variants of the name, and it is possible that the surname Ruskin may be an Americanized form of Raskin. Other important variants in English are Rachael, Rachelle, and Rochelle. Forms of this name in other languages include Raquel in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and Galician; Rachela in Polish and Ráhel in Hungarian.

History of National Rachel Day

Sixteenth-century baptismal records from England show that Rachel was first used by English Christians in the mid-1500s, becoming popular during the Protestant Reformation along with other names from the Christian Bible. Before that, the name was once common among Jewish people in the Middle Ages. In the writings of the Bible, Rachel was the wife of Jacob and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Jacob met her while she was tending sheep, thus why her name means ‘ewe’. Joseph and Benjamin later formed two of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Rachel used to be an extremely popular name in the U.S. since the 1970s, to the point that it became the ninth most popular name in 1996, its peak of popularity. Sadly, since then, the name has been in decline, being ranked number 227 in 2020.

An important Rachel in history was Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964). She was an American marine biologist, writer, and conservationist that advanced the global environmental movement with her book “Silent Spring” in 1962 and her other writings. In her book, Carson explained that once pesticides such as DDT entered the biosphere, they not only killed bugs but also made their way up the food chain and threatened bird and fish populations, in addition to eventually sickening children. It led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides and inspired a grassroots environmental movement that resulted in the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She also paved the way for many women scientists with her work.

National Rachel Day timeline

The Middle Ages
The Name is Common Among the Jews

Rachel appears in the Bible as the wife of Jacob and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin.

Mid-1500s
The Name is Adopted by Christians

During the Protestant Reformation, names of saints fall out of use and names found in the Bible become more popular.

1962
Rachel Louise Carson Releases “Silent Spring”

This important book leads to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides and inspires a grassroots environmental movement.

1996
The Name Reaches its Peak in Popularity

It becomes the ninth most popular name in the U.S.

National Rachel Day FAQs

Is Shelly short for Rachel?

Yes, Shelly can be a nickname for Rachel, Michelle, and Shelton.

Was Rachel rich in “Friends”?

Rachel came from a rich family, but after moving away from her family at the beginning of the series, Rachel is the poorest, working as a waitress. By the end of the show, she is a senior executive at Ralph Lauren. Arguably, she’s not rich, but she is the richest among the main cast.

How do you say Raquel in Spanish?

The pronunciation of Raquel, Rachel’s Spanish equivalent, is ‘rrah-kehl’.

National Rachel Day Activities

  1. Spend time with a Rachel in your life

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, a friend, your partner, or an acquaintance. Today is a day to show her some appreciation, so make sure it shows!

  2. Have your ‘me’ time

    If your name is Rachel, it means this is your day. You can do anything you want! Take at least some hours off to relax and do something you’ve been wanting to do this week, like watching a movie. You’ve earned it.

  3. Learn more about Rachel Louise Carson

    We believe she is the most important Rachel in American history, but not many people know about her. You can use this day to find out more about her and share your findings with others.

5 Fun Facts About The Name ‘Rachel’

  1. Thousands of Rachels in the U.S.

    The number of people in the U.S. named Rachel is about 407,142.

  2. It remains very popular in Israel

    In 2020, it was ranked the fourteenth most popular name in the country.

  3. The girls named Rachel in 2021

    In 2021, there were about 1,255 baby girls named Rachel in the U.S.

  4. There are many fictional characters called ‘Rachel’

    Some examples of famous characters are Rachel Green, from the sitcom “Friends,” Rachel Berry, from the show “Glee,” and the replicant Rachael, from the sci-fi movie “Blade Runner.”

  5. Many more famous people are called ‘Rachel’

    Besides Rachel Louise Carson, there’s Canadian actress Rachel McAdams, Hebrew-language poet from Palestine Rachel Bluwstein Sela, and Swiss soloist violinist Rachel Kolly d'Alba.

Why We Love National Rachel Day

  1. Every Rachel deserves love

    Some Rachels out there may be feeling down today. This day is a good excuse to cheer them up if they need it!

  2. We love the name Rachel

    One reason we like the name Rachel is the meanings — ‘ewe’ and ‘the one with purity.’ But additionally, it’s easy to pronounce, cute and feminine, but also somewhat serious and sophisticated.

  3. It’s a day to think about the lives and work of famous Rachels

    Perhaps you could become a fan of Rachel Ward’s films? Or Rachel Whiteread’s sculptures? There are a lot of important Rachels out there so go on and learn about them.

National Rachel Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 21Saturday
2024January 21Sunday
2025January 21Tuesday
2026January 21Wednesday
2027January 21Thursday

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