There are plenty of holidays — say, Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day (December 8), Open an Umbrella Indoors Day (March 13), or Plan Your Own Epitaph Day (April 6 & November 2) — that seem a little silly. But then there are others, like World Kindness Day (Oh, and also National Cheese Lovers’ Day) that just make sense.
What is World Kindness Day?
Put simply, World Kindness Day — also called Random Acts of Kindness (R.A.K.) Day — is a holiday dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of kindness. The unofficial holiday serves as a reminder that kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition, and even small acts can make a massive impact on a global scale. Although it’s not affiliated with any religion or political organization, World Kindness Day is observed by more than 28 countries around the world.
When is World Kindness Day 2020?
An internationally celebrated event, Word Kindness Day is celebrated on November 13th every year (in 2020, it falls on a Friday).
The History of World Kindness Day
The holiday was celebrated for the first time in 1998. The unofficial holiday was established by the World Kindness Movement (WKM), a coalition of nations’ kindness nonprofit groups (NGOs) formed just a year earlier. The formation of the World Kindness Movement occurred at a conference in Tokyo in 1997, where Japan brought kindness organizations from around the world together to discuss the need for a global kindness movement.
Today, the World Kindness Movement includes more than 28 nations, including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, and Mexico.
How to Celebrate World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day doesn’t involve exchanging gifts, dressing up in costumes, or acting like you’re a time traveler from a dystopian future. In fact, celebrating this special day might not feel any different from any other day.
The only requirement for honoring this unofficial holiday is to perform at least one intentional act of kindness for someone else. In addition, you should recognize and celebrate the kind acts of others by letting people know how much you appreciate them — a mere “thank you” has a powerful effect and may not be heard as often as you think.
By performing and appreciating intentional acts of kindness, you’ll be united with fellow observers from around the world by a common thread of kindness. As you spread that positive power, you’ll be contributing towards building a kinder world. Ultimately, the purpose of the holiday is to make kindness the norm.
World Kindness Day Activities
Kindness can come in the form of good deeds, simple acts, and kind things. Here are some ideas:
- Smile at people around you (if you’re wearing a mask, no worries — you can smile with just your eyes!)
- Write kindness cards and leave them for people to find
- Call loved ones you haven’t spoken to in a while
- Write a kind social media post about a friend or someone you admire
- Plant a tree
- Surprise your coworkers with cookies
- Pay for a stranger’s coffee, meal, or bar tab
- Write a note on a restaurant receipt for your server
- Compliment someone
- Clean up trash you find on the ground
- Get your imagination working and write your own list of kind acts to celebrate the holiday.