National Handshake Day

National Handshake Day Quick Facts

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2023 DateJune 29, 2023
2024 DateJune 27, 2024
National Handshake Day

National Handshake Day History

National Handshake Day honors the most common greeting in the world. According to Hamlet Hub, throughout medieval times, when most men were covered in target, the handshake was one way to determine if someone was a friend or enemy. If one male extended an open hand to another, this meant an invitation of friendship and the gesture would be reciprocal. National Handshake Day is observed annually on the last Thursday of June.

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National Handshake Day Facts & Quotes

  • According to, one popular theory on the origin of the handshake is that the gesture began as a way to convey peaceful intentions. By extending their empty right hand, strangers could show one another that they were not holding weapons. This became a sign that no ill will was intended.
  • One of the earliest depictions of a handshake was found in a 9th century B.C. relic. It showed the Assyrian King Shalmaneser III pressing clasping hands with a Babylonian ruler to seal an alliance.
  • According to, it is thought that 17th century Quakers popularized the handshake as a greeting. It is said they viewed a simple handclasp as a more equal alternative to bowing or tipping a hat.
  • Think of your handshake as a gift you give when you first meet another person. It should be positive, friendly, warm, welcoming, and the other person should come away having enjoyed the interaction - Denise Dudley, career guru and author of Work It! Get In, Get Noticed, Get Promoted

National Handshake Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Spread virtual handshakes. Greet and acknowledge friends and strangers virtually to celebrate the day as a way to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines.
  • View several handshake alternatives. The World Health Organization advises against physical contact but you can still acknowledge others with these greetings.
  • Create your own special handshake, then share it with friends.

National Handshake Day References and Related Sites History of the Handshakes

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