National High Five Day

National High Five Day Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateApril 18, 2024
2025 DateApril 17, 2025

National High Five Day

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National High Five Day is a worldwide celebratory event promoting a common human interaction – the high five. The observance encourages participants to celebrate victories, big or small, through the act of high fiving each other. It aims not only at celebrating these achievements, but also at promoting positive communication and reinforcing solidarity between people, irrespective of their backgrounds, professions, or ages.

National High Five Day traces its roots back to 2002 in the United States. The day was conceptualised by students at the University of Virginia who gave out high fives as part of a university project. While it originated from our southern neighbours, this day has found resonance with Canadians as well. The act of high fiving is well embedded in the Canadian culture, being prevalent in sports, recreational activities, or as an informal, friendly gesture among Canadians themselves.

In Canada, National High Five Day usually finds a higher profile during sports or public events. Across the country, individuals, teams, or organisations may spotlight the high five on this day through a collective action or through a series of activities planned to honour the day. It's an opportunity for Canadians to cultivate a spirit of camaraderie and positive reinforcement. While there is no exclusive date for Canada, National High Five Day generally mirrors the international observance, which takes place annually on the third Thursday of April.

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Facts about National High Five Day

  • The first documented instance of a high five was in 1977 at the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros game. Rookie outfielder Glenn Burke of the Los Angeles Dodgers lifted his arm high above his head and slapped palms with his teammate Dusty Baker to celebrate a milestone home run. Baker’s home run in the 6th inning certified the Dodgers as the first team in history to have four hitters with at least 30 home runs each in a single season.
  • According to a study by the Institute of Biological, Environmental, and Rural Sciences at Aberystwyth University in Wales, fist bumps and high fives greatly reduce the spread of germs compared to handshakes. Germs were spread 20 times less for fist bumps and 10 times less for high fives.

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