World Blood Donor Day

World Blood Donor Day is an international holiday celebrated annually on June 14th since 2004. It was created by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of eight global health initiatives started by this agency. The other seven global health initiatives are World AIDS Day, World Health Day, World Malaria Day, World Hepatitis Day, World Immunization Week, World Tuberculosis Day, and World No Tobacco Day.

Events such as blood drives and lectures are held all over the world on this day, and each year has a different theme. For instance, in 2012, the theme was “Every Blood Donor is a Hero,” and in 2016, the theme was “Blood Connects Us All.”

History of World Blood Donor Day

This holiday is celebrated on June 14th because that is the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, born in 1868 in Vienna, Austria. Who is Karl Landsteiner, you ask? He was a doctor who eventually became Professor of Pathological Anatomy at the University of Vienna and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1930 for discovering human blood types and how to successfully transfuse blood from one patient to another.

In 2004, the WHO decided to create World Blood Donor Day as a way to not only acknowledge the contributions of Karl Landsteiner but also to raise awareness about the global need for blood and to thank blood donors who take time out of their busy days to give blood.

Facts About Blood Donations & Transfusions

Blood donations from volunteers account for approximately 112 million blood donations collected around the globe on an annual basis. However, about 50% of these donations—or about 55 million units—are collected in high-income countries such as the United States. These high-income countries are home to only about 19% of the world’s population.

In low-income countries, over two-thirds of the blood donations given are for the blood transfusions of children under the age of five. In high-income countries, about three-fourths of blood donations are used for transfusions of adults aged 65 or older.

Observing World Blood Donor Day

All over the world, there is a wide range of different events to observe this holiday. Not only are there blood drives at blood collection facilities and mobile blood collection clinics, but there are also usually concerts, parades, and other events to raise awareness of this day. Some businesses have begun to give their workers time off so they can donate blood on this day.

The day is also usually celebrated on social media sites using either the hashtag #worldblooddonorday or simply #giveblood. Although there are usually a number of observances and celebrations on this day, it is not a public holiday but rather a global observance—which means that most post offices, government buildings, and businesses will be open on this day.


World Blood Donor Day is an observance that most people should take the time to participate in, either by donating blood or raising awareness about the need for blood donations. Only about 33 out of 1,000 people in high-income countries donate blood on a regular basis, and only about 4 out of 1,000 in low-income countries donate blood, so blood supplies are always in need of replenishment.

However, if you cannot donate blood or engage in raising awareness about the need for blood, then you can always donate money to the Red Cross or other blood collection agencies.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 14 Friday
Next year (2025)
June 14 Saturday
Last year (2023)
June 14 Wednesday
Activity & Action, Health & Body, United Nations