National Vanessa Day is observed and celebrated around the world every year on March 20. It brings attention and much-needed focus to a classic and widely used name, Vanessa, which is a beautiful name with a rich history. If you’ve ever wondered what makes you so special, or just needed a little pick-me-up, well, if you are fortunate enough to carry the name Vanessa with you, then you’re in luck. Today is the day that you get to celebrate your name, alongside all those who have and still do carry your name with them too.
History of National Vanessa Day
Vanessa is traditionally a feminine name. Although it is unclear which of the two sources was fully responsible for the name’s formation, the name Vanessa has two possible origins. Vanessa hails from Greek origins, derived from the ancient goddess Phanessa, Pandora’s daughter. In Roman history, Venus, the God of Love, is also said to have contributed to the development and popularity of the name Vanessa. According to tradition, the name Phanessa, which is now claimed to mean ‘butterfly,’ originated with the goddess Phanessa, who had a deep fascination with butterflies.
The name Vanessa, in its current form, can be attributed to its first use in a poem written in 1713 by Jonathan Swift, a noted writer of the popular and classic fictional title, “Gulliver’s Travels.” Swift combined parts of his lover’s name, Esther Vanhomrigh, by using the ‘Van’ and ‘Es’ to create a pseudonym for her as he wrote “Cadenus and Vanessa,” a poem that spoke to their secret love affair.
In 1806, almost a century after the name Vanessa first appeared in print, Danish Zoologist, Johan Christian Fabricius, named a genus of butterfly, Vanessa, and the name then reached a global audience. The name Vanessa has seen periods of popularity from the 17th century to the present, as well as periods of disfavor. Even yet, Vanessa is still a popular name in some parts of the world. Its popularity can be largely attributed to several famous people from our common history.
National Vanessa Day timeline
Vanessa Paradis is an award-winning French actress and is regarded as a gifted singer-songwriter; her relationship with another well-known actor, Johnny Depp, in 1998 catapults her to global fame.
Vanessa Williams, an actress, wins the “Miss America Title” and becomes the first African American woman to do so.
Vanessa Hudgens makes history as an actress and singer on the global phenomenon T.V. show, “High School Musical,” a series that went on to transfix a complete generation.
Vanessa Redgrave, who is actually Dame Redgrave, receives the title "Dame," which is comparable to a knighthood, and "Sir," for her enormous contribution to the film business.
National Vanessa Day FAQs
Should I change my name to Vanessa?
While the choice is entirely yours, your name is a part of who you are, and there will be a time and a day to celebrate your special name too.
Is Vanessa a popular name?
Globally, the name has dipped in popularity, but Germany, Mexico, the Czech Republic, and the U.S. have managed to keep the name popular and in the top 100 most popular names for girls for decades.
Can I celebrate National Vanessa Day if Vanessa is my middle name?
Yes, it’s a part of your name, and you should enjoy the day like any other Vanessa out there.
National Vanessa Day Activities
Have a V-day party
In honor of Vanessas everywhere, through a fantastic V-day party, everyone comes dressed as something beginning with the letter V. It can be a costume party!
Make it about you
If you’re lucky enough to have been given the name Vanessa, then celebrate it on a day just for you. It's a special day for you, so unwind, enjoy yourself, and relax.
Get a group going
There are a lot of Vanessas out there. Connect with others and share in the celebrations to make your special day and theirs even better.
5 Facts About The Name Vanessa That You Should Know
High School Musical
When “High School Musical's” popularity was at its peak in 2007, Vanessa was the 71st most common name given to babies in the U.S.
Vanessa is big in Germany
Since 1976, Vanessa has consistently ranked in the top 100 girls' names in Germany; in the 1990s, it was the seventh most often used name.
People like you
The name Vanessa is frequently linked to femininity and beauty; if your name is Vanessa, people tend to view you more favorably.
Goddess of the Stars
In Hebrew, the name Vanessa translates to ‘femininity’ and means ‘star’ and ‘of Venus.’
Women who are named Vanessa are often perceived to be courageous.
Why We Love National Vanessa Day
Names are a part of your identity
Our names are important to us; they define much of who we are. Having a day that speaks to that and honors your special name is wonderful.
You’re special and today we recognize that officially
There’s nothing better than being made to feel special simply by your name. Today, that is exactly the way the world is working for you.
Take pride in your given name
Some people out there may feel that their name is given arbitrarily on a National Name Day. That is not the case. There is something special about your name, and even more so because it was given to you.
National Vanessa Day dates