World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day – May 8, 2023

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is held on May 8 every year, in celebration of the basic principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The day honors the birth anniversary of the first Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the great Henry Dunant. Every year, a theme is designated for observation, as people all around the world are encouraged to join the cause and contribute to peace in their own individual ways.

History of World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

We celebrate the founding principles of the Red Cross Movement on May 8. World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day recognizes the vital role played by the staff, volunteers, and members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement who have provided critical humanitarian assistance to communities all around the world. As we progress in the new century, it becomes clearer that the need for international forces to relay humanitarian aid has never been more. With global democracy in peril every day, the disastrous blows to the world order place the most vulnerable people around the globe in mortal danger.

The Red Cross Movement firmly believes that all of us have the power to change the world. On May 8, we honor the unified resolve of millions of selfless volunteers who have taken the pledge of service. The brave volunteers of the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have been on the frontline of numerous natural and artificial disasters. Aid has flowed via the Red Cross in the form of bandaids, stretchers, blood donations, and practical tools of rehabilitation.

Along with honoring the centuries-long peace-keeping legacy of the movement, the day also raises public awareness of the prevention and cure of diseases such as tuberculosis, H.I.V./AIDS, and malaria in deprived communities. During the live celebration, a musical concert is organized and educational health messages are broadcast on national television, reaching millions of people all around the world. The celebration is supported by the British Red Cross.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day timeline

1863
The Founding

Social activist and Swiss Native Henry Durant establishes the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland.

1901
The Nobel Notification

Durant receives the first-ever Nobel Peace Prize for his instrumental role in the Red Cross Movement and the Geneva Convention.

1910
The Day is Announced

Durant is laid to rest and the anniversary of his birth is designated as World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

2022
Millions of Lives are Touched

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement claim to have touched 650 million lives all over the world.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day FAQs

What is the theme of Red Cross and Red Crescent Day?

Every year, a theme is designated for the observation. Some of the past ones have been ‘Unstoppable’ and ‘#KeepClapping.’

Who is considered the father of the Red Cross?

Swiss social activist Henry Durant is regarded as the father of the Red Cross for his efforts in building the movement in 1863.

How can I volunteer for the Red Cross?

Go to the official Red Cross website and click under the ‘volunteer’ section to submit your application or visit your local Red Cross chapter and fill out the form in person.

How to Observe World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

  1. Sign up with Red Cross

    It is never too late to join 97 million people worldwide by becoming an official volunteer for the Red Cross. For decades, Red Cross volunteers have distinguished themselves for their excellent service to those in need. Through volunteering, you become a person of contact and a bridge connecting your community to the Red Cross.

  2. Donate to the cause

    The most potent way to aid those in need is through donating money. Monetary contributions reach the farthest and help volunteers on the ground with critical supplies such as first aid, food, and hygiene products. On May 8, drop a dollar at the official online fundraiser or make a direct contribution to your local chapter.

  3. Rise above the differences

    Henry Durant believed in service above differences. The integral principle of the Red Cross is maintaining neutrality and protecting wounded soldiers. Durant believed that people, regardless of their actions, deserve to have their wounds sewn. On his birth anniversary, take a pledge to find common ground with your foes and give peace a chance.

5 Interesting Facts About The Red Cross

  1. More than blood and wars

    The Red Cross provides immediate and long-term aid to disaster-prone communities around the world.

  2. Equal contribution

    Women make up to 50% of all registered volunteers for the Red Cross.

  3. The Red Cross app

    The Red Cross First Aid app relays relevant information in times of emergency to millions of people.

  4. The Swiss impression

    The Red Cross flag reflects the emblem of the cross and is the reverse design of the Swiss flag.

  5. Largest humanitarian network

    The Red Cross Societies have chapters in 185 of the 195 countries of the world.

Why World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is Important

  1. The struggle continues

    Although it has been almost two centuries since the inception of the Red Cross, the need for acute and impartial humanitarian aid continues. With the observation, we shed light on all possible pathways of conflict resolution and strengthen our resolve to provide relief assistance to those in need.

  2. It honors the legacy

    World Red Cross Day and Red Crescent Day commemorates the founding principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. People from all around the world pay their tributes to the humanitarian agency for its historical contribution to vulnerable people all around the world.

  3. It brings people together

    The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is one of the largest worldwide networks of people, with millions of members and active volunteers. World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day honors the movement and brings people together, from all across the globe, as we chart through unprecedented times.

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 8Monday
2024May 8Wednesday
2025May 8Thursday
2026May 8Friday
2027May 8Saturday

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.