World Hello Day was created on 21 November 1973 by brothers and university graduates Brian and Michael McCormack in response to the Yom Kippur War. The brothers started the movement by gathering money and sending letters to as many world leaders as possible in order to gain support for this celebration. Today their initiative boasts the support of over 165 countries and has grown into an annual initiative which promotes the message that world governments should communicate to settle conflicts, rather than resorting to force and violence.
In continuation of the message of communication and connection over conflict and cruelty, World Hello Day’s principal custom is saying “hello” to at least 10 people – be they friends, family, or strangers. The emphasis is thus on what effects personal communication may have on the preservation of peace. People are also encouraged to learn how to greet in different languages and then practice what they’ve learnt throughout the course of the day.