World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

8 May is World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day—a global day to celebrate the uniqueness and unity of our International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement

Theme for 2023

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day is a time to celebrate the spirit of humanitarianism and recognize the individuals who make a difference in their communities.

This year, our theme was: Everything we do comes #fromtheheart

We wanted to celebrate the people in our communities, “the person next door”, who often are the first ones to step up and support those in need around them. They could be someone at work; a neighbourhood business-owner; a Red Cross or Red Crescent community volunteer; someone at the gym, shop or market we go to; or someone living close by who has always been by our side. However they support us, they do it with love and #fromtheheart.

Read this joint message from our Movement to find out more.

Watch: Everything we do comes #FromTheHeart

History of World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

The idea for World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day came about after the First World War, when an "annual action that could take hold in the whole world... that would be a major contribution to peace" was discussed at the 14th International Conference of the Red Cross.

8 May was eventually chosen because it is the anniversary of the birth of the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Henry Dunant.

The first 'International Red Cross Day', as it used to be known, was celebrated on 8 May 1948. The official title of the day changed over time and became known as 'World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day' in 1984.

Today, the day is an opportunity every year to celebrate our network of Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers, reaffirm our unwavering commitment to a common humanity, and reflect on our Fundamental Principles.

Watch: The journey of the IFRC