NATIONAL HUG & HIGH 5 DAY – September 12

National Hug & High 5 Day | September 12
(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)


Two things that make us feel appreciated and loved are free. That’s why on September 12th, we celebrate National Hug & High 5 Day!


When we celebrate a job well done, an accomplishment, or meeting a goal, high fives among our friends and peers make the milestone even sweeter. And the hug – well, the hug is that little bit extra, the solid human contact that says more than words ever could.

Hugs and high fives also act as encouragement on our journeys. We struggle to reach our objectives and understand our purpose. Life throws obstacles in our way, and we cannot always see what is on the other side of the mountain. But along the way, friends and even strangers sustain us with their support. It comes in many forms, but often it comes in a wealth of hugs and high fives.

When tragedy strikes, hugs are what hold us up when we think it’s impossible and high fives renew our faith in each other, reminding us of a higher power and returning smiles to our faces.
National Hug & High 5 Day connects us and encourages us to share a hug and high five with a friend, a neighbor, a stranger, or anyone who needs one.

Big Dave, Human High Five, Hug and High 5 Day, United States


Look around your world and give a hug and high 5 on September 12th. It might be your co-worker or a family member. You will never know who needs it, and you might never know how it impacts the person you give it to, but you can rest assured it will lift their spirits, encourage them or help heal their heart. Your hug might spark a conversation or change someone’s perspective. A high five can motivate a child or open a veteran’s eyes to opportunity. Hugs and high fives can even change your life! So whose life will you impact on #HugAndHigh5Day?

Big Dave & John Bon Jovi
“I’ve seen a million faces and hugged ‘em all!!” ~Big Dave meeting Jon Bon Jovi

There’s so much potential. You just have to believe like David Sylvester does. He has hugged and high 5’d over half a million people in every U.S. state and 37 countries (and growing), spreading love and joy everywhere he goes. On his journey, he has found people with missions and gained missions of his own. Follow David’s journey on Instagram @thehumanhigh5.

You can also read about “Big Dave” (a name many recognize him by) in his book Traveling at the Speed of Life. He has another on the way, too. If you’ve been hugged by the Human High 5 (another name Big Dave goes by – did we mention that?), be sure to share your experience and photos!


What will you discover when you celebrate National Hug & High 5 Day?

Let the world know by using #HugAndHigh5Day on social media. Now go and hug and high 5 people!


In 2021, David Sylvester founded National Hug & High 5 Day to share his mission of touring the country, spreading good deeds, smiles, and joy across the country and world. But his mission didn’t start in 2021 – it started the day after his friend was killed in the World Trade Center in 2001.

Since then, he has bicycled across North America from various points three times. He’s also bicycled parts of Australia, across Asia, and Africa. On each tour, he made a point to visit places touched by violence – San Bernardino, Oklahoma City, Chicago, Cleveland, Orlando – to name a few. With each hug and high five, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Human warmth and kindness elevated people out of adversity – if even for a moment.


When Big Dave could no longer bicycle, he took to the highway by car and eventually partnered with Duke Cannon and Advantage Rental Car. He continued his tour through 2020 and beyond. You may have even received a hug from David Sylvester and didn’t realize it, though we doubt you wouldn’t know. His big smile and a big sign that says “Big Dave” give him away. However, each hug and high 5 he receives, spurs him on his mission of lifting the human spirit.

In honor of the 20th anniversary of David Sylvester’s mission in 2021, National Day Calendar proclaims National Hug & High 5 Day to be observed on September 12th annually.


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