National High Five Day is an unofficial national holiday that was created by college students at the University of Virginia in 2002. It is celebrated on the third Thursday of April every year.

The high five, a well-known hand gesture of celebration and greeting, is believed to have been invented by Dusty Baker and Glenn Burke, both members of the Los Angeles Dodgers. According to National Day Calendar, the two came up with the hand gesture while they were celebrating the success of their game on Oct. 2, 1977. However, some are convinced that it originated from a Louiseville basketball team that began using the hand gesture as a sign of celebration.

Today, high fives are used to greet people, express solidarity and congratulate someone for their achievement. It has become a universal hand gesture as well.

This year's National High Five Day falls on April 15. Unfortunately, people cannot celebrate it by giving each other high fives due to the pandemic that calls for social distancing.

What people can do, instead, is greet one another using these alternative gestures, courtesy of Earl Brown Heritage Center. Although originally dubbed "handshake alternatives," they can also be used in place of high fives.

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  1. Saying hello. This is the easiest way to greet someone without making actual physical contact.
  2. Waving at the person. This hand gesture can be used to greet a person even when they are at a distance from you.
  3. Making the peace sign. The peace or V-sign has been known since World War II. This hand gesture was also popularized as a good-faith gesture by the hippies of the 1960s and disco-lovers of the 1970s. Although considered as a more casual gesture today, a peace sign can be used to greet someone. Many use it as a farewell gesture, too.
  4. Tipping your hat. This is a classy alternative to saying hello. However, this gesture only works if a person happens to be wearing a hat.
  5. Nodding. An affirming downward nod is considered an ideal gesture in a more formal or professional setting. This gesture indicates a person's affability.
  6. Doing Jim and Pam's air high five. This safe alternative to high five was popularized by the hit TV show "The Office." It is ideal for people who like greeting others while practicing social distancing.
  7. Saluting. This gesture commonly used by members of the military can be adapted by civilians when acknowledging each other. Even a casual two-finger salute from the temple will do, but it should be used only when greeting friends or family members as it is considered more casual.
  8. Making the Namaste gesture or yoga bow. Inspired by Hindu culture, this hand gesture is gaining popularity as a safe alternative to handshakes and high fives in both professional and personal settings. To make the Namaste gesture or yoga bow, one should bow slightly while keeping their palms pressed together, fingers pointing upward and thumbs close to the chest.