National Esther Day is observed every June 12 in the United States. It’s a day to celebrate and honor those with the name Esther. The name dates back to biblical days to the story in “The Book of Esther,” which features the brave young woman taken from her home who risked her life to save her people and became a Persian Queen. It later appeared in Europe and the British Isles. Currently, the name Esther is used all over the world, including in its Spanish form, Ester. In 2022 alone, more than 7,000 girls were given this bold name.
History of National Esther Day
The name Esther derives from the Persian word ’satarah’ meaning ‘star.’ In the Bible, the name equates to the Hebrew word meaning ‘for myrtle.’ It is said that the name first occurred as a given name in Europe and the British Isles during the Reformation, a religious movement in 16th-century Europe, before which the occurrence of Biblical names was unusual. Esther has seemingly coexisted with the modified form Hester throughout its usage in the English-speaking world.
Although with a slight pronunciation difference, Esther and Hester were largely interchangeable for a long time, routinely for women. An example of this specific form is Esther Johnson, known as Stella, whose baptismal record identifies her as Hester but who always signed herself Stella. She is famous for her close association with Anglo-Irish author Jonathan Swift, whom some believe she secretly married.
The common usage of Esther and Hester interchangeably was essentially phased out by 1900. Esther retained a high usage profile, especially in North America, whereas the popularity of Hester has shown a progressive decline. In 1893, September 9 saw the birth of Esther Cleveland, the second daughter of U.S. President Grover Cleveland but the first presidential child born in the White House. The birth caused a media sensation where press announcements of her name revealed that it meant ‘star,’ and soon became widely popular in the U.S. In 1896, Esther ranked as the 27th most popular name for American girls. Esther remains a favored name in some Jewish communities.
National Esther Day timeline
After the birth of Esther Cleveland, press announcements state that her name means ‘star.’
The name becomes popular soon after Esther Cleveland's 1893 birth.
Esther is ranked as the 27th most popular name for American girls for the year.
The name becomes the sixth most popular name for girls born in New York City.
National Esther Day FAQs
What is the Biblical name of Esther?
The Biblical meaning of the name Esther is ‘secret’ or ‘hidden.’
Is Esther a unisex name?
Esther is considered to be a girl’s name of Persian origin and has great merit within the Hebrew bible.
How is Esther spelled in Spanish?
The Spanish variant of Esther is Ester, with no “h.”
National Esther Day Activities
Buy a gift for a person named Esther
If you know someone named Esther, buy her a gift to make her day special. You can buy something fun or invite her for a nice dinner.
Enjoy the day with your family
This could be a day to celebrate your love for family and friends named Esther. Take this opportunity to tell those close to you that you love them, even if it is sometimes difficult to say out loud.
Share a post
Choose your favorite woman named Esther and share a post on social media. Be creative and post something about her biography or favorite food, song, or animal.
5 Famous Esthers You May Not Know
Born Esther Louise Worth, this iconic American silent film star made a successful transition to sound films; her most famous sound movie was “To the Last Man” in 1933.
This American famous swimmer and actress starred in a series of films in the 1940s and early 1950s known as ‘aqua musicals,’ elaborate performances with synchronized swimming and diving.
The film career of this Argentine actress, born in 1963 in Buenos Aires, started in 1983 with “Los Enemigos” and “Gracias por el Fuego.”
A Spanish model and actress born in 1977, she featured on celebrity magazine covers and modeled for well-known fashion brands.
This American actress began her career as a voice actress in “Star Wars: Ewoks.”
Why We Love National Esther Day
Esther is one of the most popular names
In the United States, Esther is one of the most popular names with more than 7,000 girls named Esther in 2022. It becomes popular in 2006 in New York.
It is an opportunity to spend the day with someone you love
If you know someone named Esther, this day is an opportunity to honor her. You can save the date to arrange plans with your friend.
Esther is a special name
Esther is also a biblical name. There is a girl named Esther in the Bible who becomes the model for the Jewish people living in diaspora or exile. By astutely using her beauty, and political intelligence, and by taking one well-placed risk, Esther saves her people.
National Esther Day dates