National Sheila Day – July 27, 2023

National Sheila Day is marked every July 27 to celebrate the significance of the name ‘Sheila’ and everyone bearing the name. Did you know that Sheila was derived from the Roman name ‘Cecilia,’ which became popularized during the Middle Ages? Cecilia became mainstream after the Catholic Church venerated the Roman martyr, Saint Cecilia. Sheila is a female given name derived from the Irish name ‘Síle’ and the French name ‘Cécile.’ The name means ‘blind’ or ‘heavenly.’ Famous people named Sheila include Sheila E. (percussionist and singer), Sheila Ortiz Taylor, Sheila Hockin (television and film producer), and Sheila Ford Hamp (American businesswoman and football executive).

History of National Sheila Day

The origin of the name Sheila can be traced to the Roman name ‘Cecilia,’ the feminine form of the old Roman family gens ‘Caecilia.’ The Caecilii were predominantly plebeians who appeared in history as early as the fifth century B.C. The gens Caecilia are said to have originated from Caeculus, the mythical founder of Praeneste. Caeculus was the son of Vulcan, a god of fire, and born of Vulcan’s spark. He was raised by maidens and grew up among the shepherds, later becoming a highwayman. An alternative legend says that the Caecilii descended from Caecas, one of the individuals who accompanied Aeneas to Italy after the sack of Troy. Between 146 B.C. and 31 B.C., the Caecilii Metelli became one of the most powerful families of the late Republic, improving the Caecilii family’s status in society.

During the Middle Ages, Cecilia became a popular female given name. This popularity is attributed to the second-century Saint Cecilia. Cecilia was a noble Roman lady who, with her husband Valerian, his brother Tiburitius, and a Roman soldier Maximus became martyrs under Emperor Alexander Severus or Marcus Aurelius. Cecilia became the patron saint of music and musicians because, according to legend, she sang in her heart to the Lord as the musicians played at her wedding.

In the early 11th century, the French version of the name, Cécile was introduced to England after the 1066 Norman Conquest. The name later arrived in Ireland, where it was Gaelicized to ‘Síle’ (pronounced SHEE-la). ‘Sheila’ became the anglicized version of ‘Síle.’ In the United States, Sheila started gaining popularity around the early 20th century, having been introduced by Irish immigrants. It peaked in the mid-20th century, and since then, its usage has dwindled.

National Sheila Day timeline

5th Century B.C.
The Caecilii Family

The Caecilii family appears in history.

The Middle Ages
Cecilia Attains Popularity

Cecilia becomes a popular female given name in homage to the second-century Saint Cecilia.

11th Century
Cecilia Arrives in England

The French introduce the name Cécile to England.

20th Century
Rise in Popularity

Sheila becomes a fashionable name in the United States.

National Sheila Day FAQs

How popular is the name Sheila?

Sheila was among the top 1,000 baby girl names in the United States until 2007. Since then, it has rapidly reduced in popularity.

Is Sheila an old-fashioned name?

Sheila might be an old-fashioned name as parents are likelier to use the Roman variant ‘Cecilia’ or the modern one ‘Shea.’

Is Sheila a Hindu name?

Sheela, a variant of Sheila, is a common name given to Hindu girls. It means ‘character’ and ‘good conduct.’

National Sheila Day Activities

  1. Wish Sheilas a happy National Sheila Day

    Show some love to all Sheilas in the United States and the world by posting “Happy National Sheila Day” on social media. Use the hashtag #NationalSheilaDay for others to join in appreciating them.

  2. Give a gift

    If you have a friend or loved one named Sheila, make them feel special today by giving them a gift. It can be a custom t-shirt or mug, a lunch or dinner date, or a surprise party.

  3. Watch a classic Sheila movie

    While there are not many movies containing the name Sheila, there is one that particularly stands out and can be referred to as a classic. The title is “The Last of Sheila,” a 1973 American whodunnit mystery film. It holds an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, meaning it’s a great film. You can buy or rent it on Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, Amazon Video, Vudu, and Microsoft Store.

5 Interesting Facts About The Name Sheila

  1. It’s originally a male name

    ‘Sheila,’ derived from ‘Cecilia,’ is the feminine form of ‘Caecilius,’ an old Roman family name.

  2. It has an interesting mythological origin

    According to Roman mythology, Caecilius originated from Caeculus, son of Vulcan, god of fire.

  3. The meaning of Sheila

    Sheila means ‘blind one’ and ‘heavenly.’

  4. A martyr brought it to prominence

    Cecilia became a popular name after the veneration of Saint Cecilia.

  5. The country with the most Sheilas

    According to Forebears, more people are bearing Sheila in the United States than in any other country.

Why We Love National Sheila Day

  1. It’s a time to celebrate all Sheilas

    Aside from birthdays, there are no days in a year when a person is specifically celebrated. With the introduction of National Sheila Day, all Sheilas can now look forward to days when they might expect to be treated specially.

  2. The name has different variations

    Sheila has different spelling variations, offering options to parents that want their baby’s name to be unique. Sheila’s variations include Sheela, Sheelagh, Shyla, Shelia, and Shila.

  3. It has a strong meaning

    Sheila is the Irish form of the Roman name Cecilia, a martyr venerated in the second century. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians, and the name means ‘heavenly.’ Sheilas have a perfectionistic personality, strong will, and a sense of independence. They always strive to make the world better and are sensitive to other people’s needs.

National Sheila Day dates

YearDateDay
2023July 27Thursday
2024July 27Saturday
2025July 27Sunday
2026July 27Monday
2027July 27Tuesday

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