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National River Day – February 2, 2023

National River Day takes place every year on February 2 to celebrate all the Rivers across the globe. The word ‘river’ conjures up images of a body of water, yet it’s also a fairly unusual baby name. The name River has gained popularity over recent years. River Jude Phoenix, the late actor, was a famous namesake, and his famous brother, Joaquin Phoenix, named his son River after him.

History of National River Day

River is a gender-neutral English name that means “Stream of water that flows to the sea.” It is derived from the Latin word ‘ripa,’ which means ‘riverbank.’ A river is a “naturally flowing watercourse that flows towards an ocean, sea, lake, or another river, and is usually freshwater.” In some instances, a river may flow into the ground and become dry at the end of its course before reaching another source of water. Creeks, rivulets, brooks, streams, and rills are all terms used to describe small rivers.

‘Riparius’ originally referred to a ‘riverbank’, but when it was corrupted into Old French as ‘riviere’, it began to refer to both the river and the edge. The Normans introduced the word to England, where it was shortened to ‘rivere’ and then to the word ‘river’ that we know today. The Riviera and other coastal places like it allude to the original meaning of the word.

In the 1970s, River was a name given to a few babies. It was a counterculture name, along with Summer and Rain, Liberty, and Freedom. After all, the Phoenix named their son River. River Phoenix, born in 1970, rose to fame after starring in the 1986 film “Stand by Me.” He had already received an Oscar nomination and a slew of awards by the time he passed away in 1993, thanks to his roles in “Running On Empty” and “My Own Private Idaho.”

National River Day timeline

1970
River Phoenix is Born

The actor, Phoenix, is born on August 23.

1970s
A Rare Name

Children are given the unique name River for the first time.

1992
Babies Named River

The name River is given to seven girls and 37 boys in 1992.

1993
The Death of Phoenix

Phoenix sadly passes away on October 31.

National River Day FAQs

What are some River nicknames?

Nicknames include Ri, Riv, Rio, and Rivvy.

What middle names go well with River?

River goes well with a variety of middle names.

What is the name of the “Great River?”

It is the river Mahanadi.

National River Day Activities

  1. Count rivers

    A unique baby name like River is quite special. Spend your day researching the number of rivers in the world and see how many river names you can recall at the end of the day.

  2. Order a river-themed cake

    Sweets are always a good idea, especially cake! Order a river-themed cake to commemorate the occasion.

  3. Create a river-inspired makeup look

    We live in the day and age of makeup and beauty products. Tap into your inner makeup artist and create a look inspired by your name. Don’t forget to share pictures of the finished look online.

5 Facts About The Name River

  1. River’s name debut

    The baby name River debuted at number 927 in the U.S. popularity rankings in 1994, with 12 girls and 141 boys.

  2. The 496th most popular name

    River was the 496th most popular baby name in 1998.

  3. “Serenity”’s River Tam

    Tam, a female genius/deadly assassin, appeared in the 2005 film “Serenity.”

  4. Its 2009 name debut

    River was ranked #955 in the ‘Top 1000 girls’ names’ in 2009.

  5. “Doctor Who”

    In 2008, in the series “Doctor Who,” we were introduced to the mysterious character River Song.

Why We Love National River Day

  1. It is a rare name

    River is a rare and symbolic name. It is uncommon to meet a person with the name. It holds a symbolism for the freeness of which water flows.

  2. It is fun

    It allows for fun activities. Boredom can catch up with anyone, but on this day, the activities are endless, from baking, painting, and reading to a ton of other fun activities.

  3. It provokes thoughts about nature

    The name ‘River’ makes us think of its literal meaning of a flowing water body. As such, the name makes us think about nature and the environment.

National River Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 2Thursday
2024February 2Friday
2025February 2Sunday
2026February 2Monday
2027February 2Tuesday

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