World Emoji Day

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July 17th recognizes World Emoji Day and many of the world’s symbolic icons for digital calendars. The day encourages us to use emojis to send unique messages.

Before the emoji, there were emoticons. Emoticons (emotion + icon) was developed as an expression of emotions in the cold hard texts that were devoid of them.

Emoji, a Japanese expression, roughly means “picture word” and was created by Shigetaka Kurita in 1990. While working for the Japanese telecom company NTT Docomo, Kurita would design these picture words as a feature on their pagers to make them more appealing to teens.

The release of the first iPhone by Apple in 2007 had an emoji keyboard embedded into the phone to nab the Japanese market. While not intended for U.S. users to find, they did and quickly figured out how to use it.

Every year new emojis (both emoji and emojis are acceptable plural forms of the word) are developed. The keeps track of all the emoji updates across all platforms and operating systems. Over 1800 emojis cover much more than just emotions. From transportation, food, an assortment of wild and domesticated animals to social platforms, weather, and bodily functions, emojis virtually speak for themselves.

When it comes to celebration emojis, the designers created a variety to make sure we could express our excitement. Whether we celebrate the arrival of a new baby, an anniversary, or a birthday, there’s something for every celebration. In fact, if we search our emojis carefully, we could probably Celebrate Every Day® on National Day Calendar® emoji style.


In 2014, Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge created World Emoji Day.  The date of July 17th has been intrinsic to the iconic red and black Apple calendar emoji since its launch in 2002.


  1. They’ve become a new universal language

    Language comes in many forms and one of most ancient types of language is visual symbols. Emojis are unique in that they are visual symbols that help enhance our written language. They can replace words or whole phrases and still be understood.

  2. We love getting “emoji”-tional

    Emojis were originally created as a way to symbolize emotions with pictures. Similar to punctuation, they express emotion through irony or humor and even suggest tone of voice or body language in text-based communication. They trigger emotional responses in people, which can cause us to be more empathetic. Basically, as we become better in identifying our emotions, we also become better at sensing others’ emotions. Looks like “emoji-tional empathy” is trending.

  3. They help us when words fail us

    Emojis help us better understand something visually when things can get lost in translation through words. In the Internet Age, they help us communicate better and faster. Let’s admit it, they’re cute and kind of addicting to use but they serve a much greater purpose. They improve our capacity to communicate effectively with others and make our intended meaning be known. When in doubt, emoji it out!


Year Date Day
2021 July 17 Saturday
2022 July 17 Sunday
2023 July 17 Monday
2024 July 17 Wednesday
2025 July 17 Thursday

World Emoji Day

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