Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

National Van Day – February 11, 2025

National Van Day is celebrated on February 11 of every year. With a name that’s got one of the most varied origins, this celebration is among the most significant in the entire world. Van is most famously a frequent suffix in Dutch names, but it is also frequently used as a stand-alone name, a contraction of Ivan, Evan, and others. Van is one of the world’s most varied and widespread surnames, making it deserving of a yearly commemoration.

History of National Van Day

Van is one of the most popular and diverse given names in the world. It occurs in many different forms in various languages, including German and Afrikaans, and is frequently found as surname prefixes in Dutch names. It is essentially a word of the language, extremely rarely used alone as a surname, but it is distinctly a trait of Dutch names due to how frequently it appears in Dutch names.

It is one of the oldest names in the Dutch tradition, maybe reaching back to the 15th century or even before, given that the surname is a part of the Dutch language. Perhaps the most famous person with this name in history was the legendary 19th-century Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh and the 17th-century Dutch polymath, painter, and scholar Anna Maria Van Schurman. Additionally, there is Dutch-born American musician Eddie Van Halen.

Around the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the surname Van started to gain popularity as a standalone name. Its original purpose was as a shortened form for other names like Ivan, Evan, and Vance. Although the name Van is frequently associated with a name and surname originating in the Netherlands, this is not always the case. Van Morrison, a well-known Irish musician, and Willard Van Orman Quine, a famous American philosopher, are two notable people with this name. Van is now a recognizable and essential component of Dutch names. It’s still used in numerous Dutch, Flemish, and even German names in several forms, such as von.

National Van Day timeline

15th Century
The Earliest Recorded Usage

Usage of the surname Van in Dutch tradition traces back to this century.

19th Century
Vincent Van Gogh

The Dutch painter becomes one of the most recognizable personalities and artists of the time and is still well-known today.

Van Morrison

The iconic Irish singer and artist is one of the earliest ones to have the name Van as an independent surname, the short form of Ivan.

Van Halen

The American Hard Rock band carries the Dutch origins of its founders in its manifest name, making it one of the most iconic Dutch names.

National Van Day FAQs

What does van mean in German?

In German surnames, it is a nobiliary particle that indicates a noble patrilineality, or it is a straightforward statement that is used by regular people to signify of or from.

When was Van first used as an independent surname?

This began in English-speaking regions, notably in the U.S. Van became more widely used as an independent surname in the early 20th century.

How popular is the name van?

According to the Social Security Administration index, Van was the 870th most popular baby name for boys in 2020.

National Van Day Activities

  1. Read Dutch history

    Van is a well-known Dutch name. As a result, its annual festival honors the name and the history and culture that gave rise to it. Dutch history is incredibly extensive and varied, making it fascinating to learn about.

  2. Celebrate with a friend

    Be sure to spread the joy of the holiday to everybody you know who has a name like Van or is of Dutch descent. Honor one of the most important names in Dutch culture by celebrating Dutch heritage.

  3. Celebrate Dutch culture

    You can participate in various fascinating Dutch customs and festivities as part of your National Van Day celebration. This festival, which honors the renowned Dutch name, calls for the festive attitude of the Dutch.

5 Interesting Facts About The Name Van

  1. How popular

    Van is now used a lot as a middle name, and as such, it is the 265th most popular family name in the U.S.

  2. The shortest middle name

    As a three-letter name, Van is considered by many to be one of the shortest names in the western world.

  3. The rise and fall

    The name Van enjoyed popularity in the United States in the 1960s, but it subsequently waned in favor before experiencing a comeback in the early 2010s.

  4. The meaning of Van

    Although the name Van is now considered a short form of Ivan or Evan, its Dutch meaning is “of the family of.”

  5. In the Netherlands

    In the country of origin, Van is used solely as a middle name, never as an independent surname.

Why We Love National Van Day

  1. It’s an iconic Dutch name

    A well-known Dutch name is Van. As a result, the yearly celebration also honors Dutch history, culture, and the numerous contributions the country has made to humanity over time. This is a crucial component of the significance and popularity of the name Van.

  2. It’s a popular name

    The middle name Van has long been connected to Germanic and Dutch naming customs. The name Van gained popularity as a first name throughout the English-speaking world once it became an independent surname.

  3. It’s short and sweet

    The surname Van is quite simple to recall. The name Van is short and sweet because it also connotes a van in English, one of the coolest automobiles. It has a well-known name and a fascinating past.

National Van Day dates

2025February 11Tuesday
2026February 11Wednesday
2027February 11Thursday
2028February 11Friday
2029February 11Sunday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.