National Rita Day is on March 3 each year. Rita is a girl’s name that originated in the Old Greek tongue and is mostly used in Germany, Italy, and Spain. Rita represents a ‘pearl’ in English and a ‘daisy’ in Spanish. The name Rita is a derivative of the Italian Margherita and the English/Scottish Margaret. This observance celebrates the history and meaning of the name. Understanding the origins of our names helps us discover new things about ourselves. National Rita Day is a special time for people named Rita to bask in the beauty of their name and learn a thing or two.
History of National Rita Day
In 1930, Rita’s popularity peaked in the U.S. as it climbed up to No. 42 on the list of top girls’ names. Its popularity has taken a blow since. Margaret has emerged as the preferred choice among the female names associated with Rita.
As a family name, Rita was in use in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Scotland from about 1840 to 1920. Rita families peaked in America in the 1920s. In 1891, London was home to the highest number of Rita families with a population of 20. At the time, this accounted for over 83% of all the documented Ritas in the U.K.
The name has several notable bearers including the likes of Rita Hayworth, Rita Moreno, and Grammy winner, Rita Coolidge. An Italian saint in the 1400s was also named Rita, adding to the name’s appeal.
The U.K. also has a fair share of famous Ritas. Among the most popular are singer-songwriter Rita Ora and actress Rita Sullivan, who stars in the popular T.V. show “Coronation Street.”
In Sanskrit, Rita could mean ‘empty’, ‘true’, and ‘righteous.’ One distinctive characteristic of people named Rita is that they are intuitive. Jamaican singer, Rita Marley (Bob Marley’s widow), American feminist writer Rita Mae Brown and T.V. news anchor Rita Cosby are further proof of the name’s claim to fame.
National Rita Day shines a light on the achievements of these amazing women and serves as inspiration for young — and indeed, unborn — Ritas to come. If your name is Rita, celebrate your special day by channeling your passion into becoming the best version of yourself.
National Rita Day timeline
The Rita surname is used in the United States, Canada, the U.K., and Scotland.
There are only 20 Rita families resident in London.
Hayworth is born on October 17.
The surname reaches the peak of its popularity in the U.S.
Ora is born on November 26.
National Rita Day FAQs
Is Rita Ora her real name?
British singer-songwriter Ora was born Rita Sahatçiu Ora. She was born in 1990 in modern-day Kosovo but immigrated to the U.K. with her family due to civil unrest.
Can Rita Ora speak Albanian?
Despite moving to London at the tender age of one, Ora speaks fluent Albanian.
Who is Rita Bennett in “Dexter?”
Actress Julie Benz played the role of Bennett, the girlfriend, and eventually, wife of the lead character, Dexter Morgan.
National Rita Day Activities
Celebrate your Rita friends
The rest of us can make the day memorable for the people around us named Rita. Take them to lunch or buy them a gift to celebrate their name.
Talk with your parents
National Rita Day is the perfect time to learn about the inspiration behind your name. Ask your parents why they chose this name for you.
Share on social media
Be proud of yourself and your name. Share pictures or facts about this observance to celebrate with your namesakes across the country.
5 Interesting Facts About The Name Rita
Rita makes the first of many appearances
In 1965, Rita Pavone made an appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” for the first time.
There’s a Rita in the wizarding world
Rita Skeeter was a character in the popular “Harry Potter” books.
A Rita receives hometown recognition
In 2015, Rita Ora became an Honorary Ambassador of Kosovo.
Ora’s songs are chart toppers
In 2012, Ora had three singles reach the number one spot on the U.K. Singles Chart.
Rita Marley’s family business is singing
Marley was a member of the I Threes, with Judy Mowatt and Marcia Griffiths, and the vocal group provided backup vocals for Bob Marley and the Wailers.
Why We Love National Rita Day
We learn about our origins
Names are an integral part of who we are and what we become. As we learn about our origins, we gain more insight into our lives and who we want to become.
We can celebrate people named Rita
Name days are like a second birthday for the bearers. It’s an opportunity to celebrate yourself or someone close to you who bears the name.
It brings us closer together
Friends and family come together on this day to celebrate with the name bearers. Through these shared acts of appreciation and celebration, name days bring us closer together.
National Rita Day dates