National High Five Day

Young diverse group of friends joyfully mid-air high fiving, wearing colorful casual attire, urban park setting with vibrant cityscape in the background..
National high five day illustration

High five, friend! You've stumbled upon one of the most paws-itively uplifting national days on the internet! National High Five Day! Cook up some popcorn, settle into your comfiest chair, we're diving into the story of a day that's all about spreading happiness, unity, and yes, also about slapping hands in mid-air.

When is High Five Day?

It's national high five day on the 16th April.

The Uplifting Tale of National High Five Day

Our high-fiving adventure begins more than just a fist-clenching years ago. But, where, oh where, did National High Five Day first uplift us with its presence? Like all good tales, it began in university. Back in 2002 at University of Virginia, a trio of students, often found in high spirits, wanted to spread the joy. So they dedicated the third Thursday in April to celebrating the simple, unifying gesture of the high five.

34160 Hands Up In the Air

Since its inception, National High Five Day has been steadily building momentum, culminating in a whopping 34160 mentions online to date. The most mentions recorded in a single day is on April 16th, 2015. Yes, fellow high-fivers, that's a lot of hands in the air for a gesture that takes just seconds to make but effortlessly lights up the day.

Put Your Hands Together For a Cause

The spirit of National High Five Day doesn't stop at just joy spreading. In recent years, the holiday has evolved into a platform for charity. Organizers now invite people to 'High five for a cause'. So, when you're extending that hand for a high five on the third Thursday in April, remember, you might just be joining countless others in making a tangible difference to the world.

History behind the term 'High Five'


The Birth of the High Five

The term 'high five' was born in 1977 when two professional athletes, Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke, of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team celebrated a home run with a unique hand gesture. As Dusty Baker crossed home plate, Glenn Burke, waiting in the on-deck circle, raised his hand and Dusty responded by slapping it, resulting in what is now known as the 'high five'. This spontaneous celebratory gesture quickly caught on and became a symbol of victory and camaraderie.


Popularization in Sports

In 1978, the 'high five' gained significant popularity within the sports community. Players across various sports began incorporating the gesture into their celebrations, further solidifying its place as a symbol of achievement and solidarity. The high five became particularly prevalent in basketball, where players would often exchange high fives after scoring a basket or making a key play. This simple yet powerful gesture added an element of connection and enthusiasm to the world of sports.


Cultural Spread

During the 1980s, the 'high five' transcended the realm of sports and made its way into popular culture. It soon became a widely recognized and used gesture in everyday life, symbolizing affirmation, agreement, and celebration. The iconic high five was seen in movies, television shows, commercials, and even in political campaigns. Its universal appeal allowed people from all walks of life to connect through this simple but impactful hand gesture.


High Five Day

In 2002, the tradition of celebrating the 'high five' was taken to a whole new level with the introduction of 'High Five Day'. This unofficial holiday, which falls on the third Thursday of April, was created to promote positivity, kindness, and the joy of connecting with others through a high five. It encourages people around the world to engage in this simple act of celebration and spread good vibes. Today, High Five Day is enthusiastically embraced by individuals, schools, and organizations as a way to foster unity and inspire positive interactions.


Global Phenomenon

The term 'high five' has become deeply ingrained in global culture. It has become a symbol of encouragement, achievement, and shared experiences. The gesture is used in countless situations to express congratulations, appreciation, and support. From sporting events and social gatherings to everyday conversations, the high five continues to bring people together, breaking barriers of age, gender, and nationality. Its timeless appeal and positive connotation make it a beloved and enduring cultural phenomenon.

Did you know?

The ‘too slow’ variation of the high five was considered for registration as a trademark by The National High Five Project!


awareness fun joy charity university high five

First identified

2nd April 2015

Most mentioned on

16th April 2015

Total mentions


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