June 25: It's National Handshake Day!

10 Strange Public Holidays

Celebrate National Handshake Day! Did you know the origin of the handshake? It's actually quite interesting ...

In America, we know the handshake as a simple greeting or even as closing a deal ('Let's shake on it').

According to Hamlet Hub, during medieval times, when most men were covered in armor, the handshake was one way to determine if someone was a friend or foe. If one male extended an open hand to another, this meant an extension of friendship and the gesture would be returned. The alternative was not as good.... if a hand was extended with a dagger or sword, it meant you better get ready to fight for your life.

The American handshake is very simple and used as a greeting between friends or new acquaintances. The right hand is extended, thumb up and palm flat. You grasp the other person's hand using a firm grip, with your palm on their palm. Hands are pumped two or three time in a vertical motion and then, you release the grip. Do it too hard, and you are seen as aggressive. Do it too softly, and you are seen as a bit of a wimp. A firm steady handshake can often tell a future employer a lot about your confidence.

Examiner published a great piece on handshake tips and famous grips, highlighting the 'Fresh Prince of Bel Air' handshake by President Obama.
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