National Crying Day

A person shedding emotional tears of joy, wearing a cozy sweater and surrounded by a comforting home environment..
National crying day illustration

Now, I'm not sure who created National Crying Day, but if you're feeling a bit weepy, we're here for you. Buckets at the ready, my friends! Allow me to tell you the tangled-up tale of the annual observance. I promise, no tears involved in the making of this article. Not a lot anyway!

When is Crying Day?

It's national crying day on the 24th June.

All You Need to Know About National Crying Day

The concept of National Crying Day is intriguing, to say the least – a day dedicated to honoring the art of emotional release in the form of tears!? Oh, my. Our data shows that this alternately cheerful and tear-jerking day has been mentioned a total of 192 times online. The peak of its popularity was on 24th June 2018, where it had the highest number of mentions.

Why Cry You Ask?

Well, crying isn't always a downer, trust me. It's actually a rather cathartic process that helps us cope with emotional stress, everyday strain, choppy onions, and heart-wrenching dramas. So what better way to celebrate than having a National Crying Day, where you can let all your frustrations and joys out in glorious liquid form?

The History of National Crying Day

From what we've gleaned from the World Wide Web, there's no definitive origin story for National Crying Day. It's a bit like the superhero of national days, it just appeared out of nowhere. Anyone else smell a potential Marvel collaboration? What we do know, however, is that the day itself fosters a sense of compassion and comfort, by indirectly encouraging us all to wear our hearts on our sleeves, or rather, tears on our cheeks.

History behind the term 'Crying'

2500 BCE

Ancient Origins

Crying has been a fundamental part of the human experience since ancient times. The earliest evidence of crying dates back to 2500 BCE in Sumerian texts, where it was depicted as a manifestation of grief, pain, or anger. Tears were believed to be a way of purging one's emotions and seeking solace in the midst of sorrow.

13th century

The Origins of 'Crying'

The term 'crying' originates from the Middle English word 'crien,' which was derived from the Old French word 'crier,' meaning 'to cry out or proclaim.' In the 13th century, 'crying' was commonly used to describe the act of shouting or calling out loudly.

13th century

Origin of the term 'crying'

The term 'crying' originated from the Old French word 'crier,' which means 'to call or proclaim loudly.' Initially, this word referred to the act of making a loud sound to express emotions, such as pain, joy, or sadness. It was often associated with vocalizations made during childbirth or in times of intense emotion.

Old English Period (450-1100 AD)

From Old English to Middle English

The term 'crying' originates from the Old English word 'crȳdan', which meant to call out or utter loudly. 'Crȳdan' was widely used during the Old English period for expressing various forms of vocalization. As the English language transitioned into Middle English, 'crȳdan' gradually transformed into 'crīen' or 'crien'.

Old English Period (450-1100)

The Origin: Old English

The term 'crying' originates from the Old English word 'crian', which means to utter a loud call or shout. In this period, crying was primarily associated with expressing anguish, pain, or sorrow. It was also used to describe the act of making a loud outcry or wailing.

3500 BCE

The First Tears

During the ancient world, the term 'crying' was not yet in use. However, people wept as a natural emotional response. Archaeological evidence suggests that tears were shed as early as 3500 BCE in the form of clay tear bottles found in ancient Mesopotamia.

13th century

The Earliest Recorded Use

The term 'crying' has its roots in the Old French word 'crier,' which means 'to cry out or shout.' This word traces back to the Latin word 'quiriare,' which means 'to wail or shout.' The ancient meaning of 'crying' focused more on expressing oneself vocally, rather than shedding tears.

circa 1250

Origins of the Term 'Crying'

The term 'crying' can be traced back to Middle English, where it derived from the Old English word 'cragan' or 'craien.' These words meant 'to make a loud sound' or 'to call loudly.' Initially, the term was mainly associated with vocal expressions of sorrow or distress.

15th century

Crying: An Evolutionary Response

Crying has been an innate human response since ancient times. Historians believe that crying evolved as a survival mechanism to communicate distress and seek help from others. Infants, for example, cry to elicit attention and care from their parents, ensuring their needs are met. This primal form of communication has stood the test of time, connecting humans emotionally for centuries.

16th century

Expansion of the Definition

During the 16th century, the term 'crying' gradually extended its meaning to include shedding tears as a form of vocal expression. It became associated with the act of weeping, wailing, or shedding tears as a manifestation of intense emotions such as sadness, pain, or joy.

16th century

Shifting Focus to Emotional Distress

During the 16th century, the concept of 'crying' began to evolve, taking on a more emotional connotation. It started referring to the act of shedding tears as a response to extreme emotional distress, sorrow, pain, or joy. Crying became associated with raw, emotional expression, reflecting the depths of one's feelings.

Middle English Period (1100-1500 AD)

Evolution into 'Cryen' and 'Crien'

With the progression into Middle English, the term 'crying' evolved further. It took on different spellings like 'cryen' and 'crien'. During this period, 'crying' primarily meant to shed tears or weep aloud. It also extended its meaning to verbal utterances expressing strong emotions such as deep sorrow or pain.

circa 1300

Expanding Emotions Included

As the usage of the term 'crying' evolved, its definition expanded to encompass a broader range of emotions beyond sorrow or distress. This expansion allowed for the inclusion of other intense emotional states such as joy, anger, or surprise, which could also elicit vocal outbursts.

5th Century BCE

Greek Philosophical Insights

In Ancient Greece, philosophers began to explore the concept of crying and its significance. Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle discussed tears as a form of catharsis, suggesting that crying could provide emotional release and purification.

Middle English Period (1100-1500)

Expanding Meanings

During the Middle English period, the meaning of 'crying' widened to encompass various emotions and actions. It began to imply shedding tears, weeping, or shedding audible tears of joy, sadness, or even excitement. The term started to include vocal expressions of emotions and became more versatile in describing audible emotional responses.

16th century

Crying as an Expression of Emotions

During the 16th century, crying began to be associated with a wide range of emotions beyond distress. It became recognized as a means to express sadness, joy, and other intense feelings. Artists and writers often depicted tears as a visual representation of emotional states in their works, adding depth and poignancy to their creations. This marked a significant cultural development in the understanding and interpretation of crying.

5th Century BCE

Philosophical Interpretation

In the 5th century BCE, Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle began pondering the meaning and significance of crying. They viewed tears not only as a physical reaction but also as an expression of the soul. According to their beliefs, crying represented a release of inner tensions and a means of cleansing the spirit.

16th century

Evolution of meaning

During the 16th century, the term 'crying' underwent significant evolution in its meaning. It began to specifically refer to shedding tears as a visible expression of sadness, grief, or distress. This change reflected a societal shift towards valuing emotional vulnerability and the recognition of tears as a legitimate emotional response.

18th century

A Sign of Weakness

In the 18th century, crying started to be seen as a sign of weakness. Societal norms placed importance on emotional restraint, particularly for men. Shedding tears was often considered an indication of vulnerability, fragility, and lack of control. This view of crying persisted well into the 19th century.

Middle Ages

Religious Symbolism

During the Middle Ages, crying took on religious connotations. Tears were associated with repentance, spiritual growth, and devotion to God. It was believed that tears of remorse had the power to wash away sins, showing both sorrow and a desire for redemption. Artworks from this era often depicted weeping saints and biblical figures.

Early Modern English Period (1500-1800)

Crying Babies

In the Early Modern English period, 'crying' gained another significant meaning. It specifically started to refer to the vocalization of infants or young children. This association of crying with babies became widely recognized and remains an important connotation of the term to this day.

Early Modern English Period (1500-1700 AD)

Broader Usage of 'Crying'

As the English language continued to develop, the term 'crying' expanded its usage. In addition to expressing the act of shedding tears, 'crying' gained wider connotations. It began to signify the loud vocalization associated with speaking or shouting. During this period, 'crying' encompassed both the act of weeping and the act of vocal outburst.

18th century

Crying and child development

In the 18th century, the understanding of the role of crying in child development started to emerge. Scholars and philosophers, such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, began to emphasize the importance of allowing infants to cry as a natural means of communication and emotional release. This perspective influenced parenting practices and shaped the perception of crying as a universal human experience.

17th Century

Associations with Tears

During the 17th century, the term 'crying' became significantly associated with shedding tears. Tears became a prominent visual component linked to the expression of emotions, adding a visual layer to the audible act of crying.

18th century

Crying in the Enlightenment Era

In the 18th century, the Enlightenment era placed a greater emphasis on rationality and stoicism. Crying became viewed as a sign of weakness and lack of self-control. This perspective led to societal expectations for individuals, particularly men, to suppress their tears and emotions. The cultural shift during this period affected how crying was perceived and could be an underlying reason for the stereotypical belief that crying is less acceptable for men.

13th Century

The Origin of the Term

The term 'crying' originated from the Middle English word 'crien,' meaning to utter a loud lament or call out. It was used to describe the audible expression of sorrow or distress.

18th century

Crying as a Sign of Emotion

In the 18th century, crying started to be seen as a common physiological and emotional response. The medical community began studying the psychological and physiological aspects of crying, recognizing it as a natural human reaction to various stimuli, such as grief, happiness, frustration, or physical pain.

19th century

Crying in literature and art

Throughout the 19th century, crying became a prevalent theme in literature, poetry, and art. Artists and writers often depicted scenes of weeping characters to convey deep emotions, evoke empathy, and explore the human condition. Notable works, like John Everett Millais' painting 'The Blind Girl' and Lord Byron's poem 'She Walks in Beauty,' exemplify the fascination with tears as a subject of artistic expression.

19th Century

Crying as a Sign of Weakness

During the 19th century, crying began to be perceived as a sign of weakness, especially in men. Society viewed excessive displays of emotions and tears as unmanly. This perception contributed to the cultural belief that crying is mainly associated with vulnerability or lack of emotional control.

20th century

Crying in Pop Culture

With the rise of cinema and television in the 20th century, crying gained significant attention in popular culture. Actors perfected the art of crying on screen, and tears became a powerful visual and emotional tool in storytelling. Cry scenes became iconic moments in movies, allowing the audience to connect deeply with the characters.

Present Day

Crying: Emotional Expression and Vocalization

Today, 'crying' is deeply ingrained in our cultural understanding as a multifaceted term. It refers to the act of shedding tears as a display of strong emotions, including sadness, joy, or relief. Additionally, 'crying' remains associated with various forms of vocal expression, whether it be shouting in anguish or passionately speaking out. It continues to play a significant role in human communication and emotional well-being.

19th Century

Understanding Emotional Tears

In the 19th century, scientists and psychologists began to study tears and their relation to emotions. Charles Darwin's book, 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,' published in 1872, explored the physiological and emotional aspects of crying.

20th century

Psychological Research and Perception Shifts

The 20th century marked a turning point in the understanding and perception of crying. Psychologists such as Charles Darwin and William James delved into the study of tears, highlighting their physiological and psychological significance. They revealed that crying could be cathartic, releasing stress and promoting emotional well-being. As a result, crying began to be regarded as a natural and necessary human response, rather than a weakness.

20th century

Crying in the Age of Psychology

With advancements in psychological research during the 20th century, crying gained a deeper understanding. Experts recognized crying as a release of pent-up emotions and a vital aspect of emotional health. This era saw a shift in the perception of crying, acknowledging its cathartic and therapeutic effects. Understanding the psychological significance of crying helped reduce the stigma associated with shedding tears and promoted a more accepting view of emotional expression.

20th Century

Psychological Studies and Emotional Crying

In the 20th century, the concept of emotional crying gained attention from psychologists. Researchers investigated the physiological and psychological aspects of crying, delving into its impact on emotional well-being, stress relief, and social bonding. This research contributed to a deeper understanding of the complexities behind this universal human behavior.

17th Century

Tears of Sentiment

In the 17th century, tears started to be associated with sentimentalism and emotional expression. Crying became a sign of sensitivity and vulnerability, particularly in the context of literature and theater. The works of Shakespeare and other playwrights showcased characters shedding tears as a way to evoke empathy and heighten dramatic tension.

21st century

Crying and Its Cultural Significance

In the 21st century, crying has become a subject of cultural fascination. It is no longer solely viewed as a sign of vulnerability or weakness, but rather as a genuine and authentic expression of human emotions. Crying scenes in movies and TV shows evoke empathy from audiences, and social media platforms are filled with discussions and memes about tearful moments. As society evolves, the perception and acceptance of crying continue to shape our understanding of emotional expression.

21st century

Embracing Emotional Vulnerability

In recent years, there has been a significant cultural shift towards embracing emotional vulnerability. Crying is now widely recognized as an essential component of mental health and self-expression. People are encouraged to be open about their emotions and to view crying as a healthy and valid response to various life situations. This perspective promotes empathy, understanding, and connection among individuals.


Understanding the Emotional Significance

Today, crying is universally recognized as a complex emotional response. It is not solely associated with sadness but can also be an expression of empathy, happiness, relief, or even catharsis. We now understand that crying serves both social and psychological purposes, enabling individuals to communicate emotions and providing emotional release.

20th Century

Psychological Perspectives on Crying

Psychologists in the 20th century delved deeper into understanding the psychology of crying. They explored the different types of tears, such as basal tears, reflex tears, and emotional tears. The psychological theories behind crying evolved, attributing tears to a release of built-up tension and stress.

Present Day

Interpretations and Cultural Variations

Today, the term 'crying' continues to evolve alongside evolving cultural interpretations. While the act itself remains universal, cultural differences shape how crying is perceived and expressed. Some cultures view crying as a sign of vulnerability, while others see it as a strength, emphasizing emotional authenticity and connections with others.

19th Century

Scientific Exploration

The 19th century witnessed a scientific exploration of crying. Researchers began studying the physiological and psychological aspects of tears. In 1872, Charles Darwin published 'The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals,' in which he discussed crying as a universal human response to emotions such as pain, distress, and joy.

20th century

Scientific study and cultural norms

In the 20th century, scientific research on crying and emotional expression gained momentum. Psychologists and sociologists began investigating the physiological and psychological aspects of crying, exploring differences in crying patterns across cultures and gender. These studies contributed to a better understanding of the social, cultural, and individual factors that influence crying, challenging prevailing gender stereotypes and shedding light on the complex nature of this emotional response.

20th Century

Understanding Emotional Expression

In the 20th century, psychologists and researchers delved into understanding the complexities of emotional expression, including crying. Significant strides were made in recognizing crying as a natural and healthy response to various emotions, such as happiness, sadness, and empathy. The stigma surrounding crying progressively diminished, leading to a more empathetic and accepting view of emotional displays.

Present Day

Crying as a Positive Release

Currently, crying is widely recognized as not only a natural response to emotional stimuli but also as a healthy way to release pent-up emotions and stress. It is backed by scientific evidence that shedding emotional tears can relieve stress and promote overall well-being. Crying is now regarded as an essential part of human emotional expression and has found acceptance as a necessary release mechanism.

21st century

Crying as self-care and catharsis

In the 21st century, there has been a growing recognition of crying as a form of self-care and catharsis. As conversations around mental health and emotional well-being have become more normalized, crying is increasingly seen as a healthy outlet for releasing pent-up emotions and reducing stress. Furthermore, the acceptance of vulnerability and emotional authenticity has led to a greater appreciation for the power of tears to foster connection and empathy among individuals.

20th Century

Cultural Shifts

Throughout the 20th century, attitudes towards crying underwent significant changes. Crying in public became more accepted, breaking the social norms of stoicism and emotional restraint. With the advent of cinema, tears found a powerful visual form of storytelling. Movie scenes featuring tearful moments became iconic, contributing to the widespread recognition and understanding of crying.

21st Century

Crying and Mental Health

In contemporary times, crying has become a subject of interest within the field of mental health. Researchers have explored the therapeutic effects of crying and its potential benefits for emotional well-being. Crying has been linked to stress reduction, emotional regulation, and even the release of certain chemicals in the body associated with mood improvement.

Present Day

Emotional Catharsis

In the present day, crying plays a crucial role in emotional catharsis and self-expression. It is recognized as a physiological and psychological response to various circumstances, including joy, grief, compassion, and empathy. Whether tears are shed in private or public, crying remains a complex and universal human behavior, demonstrating the depth and intricacies of our emotional lives.

Did you know?

Did you know that humans are the only species known to shed emotional tears? Not just because a gnat flew into their eye. Cool huh? So, when you're celebrating National Crying Day, remember, you're engaging in a very special, rather human activity.


fun comfort stress-relief tears emotions national-day

First identified

26th March 2015

Most mentioned on

24th June 2018

Total mentions


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