National Joseph Day is celebrated every year on April 16. It appreciates the strong and classic name Joseph, whose roots started in the Old Testament of the Bible with a story of a young boy with 11 jealous siblings and two doting parents. Just like that story, Josephs worldwide is a blessing to us — it even says so in the name. This Hebrew name means ‘to add or increase’ and is most prevalent in English, French, and German-speaking countries. So whether you call them Joe, Joey, Youssef, or even Josephine, today is the perfect opportunity to appreciate their presence in your life.
History of National Joseph Day
Today our honorary mentions belong to anyone named Joseph, or its variations, across the world. The popularity of this name is well-deserved and comes from a long ancestry line. It was first documented in one of the most revered and inspiring books of all time — the “Bible.”
The first recorded use of this name, or more specifically, its original Hebrew variation, Yossef, may be found in the first book of the Bible, “Genesis.” Believe it or not, he was named this way because his parents were hoping God to bring yet another son into their lives. He was a blessing to them during a period when they were desperate for another child. The boy was named ‘Yossef,’ Hebrew for ‘to add’ or, more specifically, ‘Jehovah will add.’
Youssef was the 11th son of the 12 sons of Jacob and the first of his mother, Rachel. He was the apple of his parents and God’s eyes and a thorn in the flesh of his siblings. You could have easily identified him by his coat of many colors, at least, until his brothers sold him into slavery. However, his story was only beginning as he gained the trust of Pharaoh and rose to become the second most powerful man in Egypt.
In the New Testament, two more Josephs are introduced to us. The first was Joseph of Arimathea, who allegedly transported the Holy Grail to England and assisted in preparing Jesus’s body for burial after his crucifixion. The second was the Virgin Mary’s carpenter husband and the biological father of Jesus Christ. Millennials later, Joseph remains one of America’s top 30, 10, and, at one time, top five names. This powerful name has also been given to various historical public officials and celebrities.
National Joseph Day timeline
The earliest known Joseph lives during this period and is mentioned in the Bible's Old Testament as Jacob's 11th son.
Joseph becomes one of the top 10 names in the U.S.
Joseph becomes one of the top five names given to male children in the U.S.
Nearly 2.6% of babies born in America are named Joseph.
National Joseph Day FAQs
Is National Joseph Day the same as National Joe Day?
Although very similar, National Joseph Day and National Joe Day are two entirely separate holidays. The former celebrates all Joseph, Joseph variations, and short forms worldwide, while the latter is specific to people named Joe.
What is the female version of Joseph?
Joseph is a name that boasts of numerous language and gender variations. There are several ways parents can decide to put a spin on the name Joseph when naming their daughter, and some may even choose to be one of the unique few that simply leave the name as it is. The most common feminine variants of Joseph are Josephine and Josepha.
How do you say Joseph in Spanish?
A few of these variations are José, Pepe, Chepe, Cheo, and Chelo.
National Joseph Day Activities
Learn more about the first Josephs
The Josephs of the Bible are the first records of the name Joseph you can find. Pay them homage today by learning more about their stories and lives. Start from Youssef, the first-ever Joseph, in the Old Testament and make your way down to Josephs of the New Testament.
Learn the nicknames
Who doesn’t love a name that provides a variety of fun, mesmerizing nicknames? Joe and Joey are a few that cross our minds. However, you can take time out today to learn even more possible nicknames. There are also nicknames associated with the different variations of the name, so we are sure you would learn something interesting on this holiday.
Discover public figures
We have established just how widespread the name Joseph is. Although it is not as common in modern times, it remains amongst the highest ranked given names. Take the time to learn about as many of the famous people and prominent personalities who bear this name nowadays.
5 Interesting Facts About Joseph
One of the two
Only two names remained in the top 10 boys' names list in the U.S. from 1925 to 1972 — Joseph and Robert.
It’s got options
There are hundreds of variations of the name Joseph, from language variations like ‘Giuseppe’ in Italy to gender variations like Josephine.
Still at the top
Although the popularity of the name Joseph dropped from 1991, it was still at number 26 as of 2020.
The census records
There are over 290,000 census records available for the last name Joseph.
The military records
There are over 90,000 military records available for the last name Joseph.
Why We Love National Joseph Day
It starts with an inspiring story
The story of all Josephs we know today started from the very first Joseph in the Old Testament of the Bible. The story of Joseph is an overly inspiring one that shows we can all rise above the odds to achieve more than we imagine. This holiday allows us to trace back the roots of the name Joseph, thereby learning about this inspirational tale.
It’s a big deal
There are too many Josephs in the world for us not to have a day that honors them all. The popularity of this name is all we need to understand the importance of celebrating this holiday.
Joseph is a good name because it has various languages, gender, and traditional variations. This holiday is dedicated to everyone named Joseph, or a variation thereof, worldwide. This means that honoring this festival is not limited by geography or gender.
National Joseph Day dates