Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive about becoming a Shriner:

Why do Shriners wear a fez?

The red fez with the black tassel is one of the fraternity’s most distinctive symbols. Derived from the city of Fez, Morocco, the fez was chosen as the official headgear of the fraternity to complement the organization’s pomp and pageantry, theme, ceremonies and events.

Where did the Arabian theme come from?

Similar to college fraternities that use a Greek motif, the organization’s founders modeled the iconography, ceremonies and theme after an Arabian Nights themed party one of them had attended while touring Europe.

Why is it called Shriners International?

While it is true that Shriners International was first established in New York City, the fraternity quickly spread among Masonic communities across the United States, Canada (1888), Mexico (1907) and Panama (1918). Lately, the growth has expanded even further into the international realm, with chapters forming in Puerto Rico and the Philippines (2010), Germany (2011), Brazil (2015) and Bolivia (2018).

What would be my responsibilities as a Shriner?

Shriners help support our philanthropy, Shriners Children's, by volunteering at the healthcare system’s locations, participating in fundraising activities, and by referring children who may benefit from the specialized medical care provided by the healthcare system. Additionally, every Shriner is expected to help the fraternity grow by recruiting new members and being as active in his chapter as possible.

How can I be involved?

Local Shriners chapters sponsor various activity-based units for the purpose of bringing members together who share similar interests. These could include taprooms and brewers, boating, team sports, photography and videography, and any other current interests. Anything you can envision can be developed into an interest-based unit.

Can my family participate?

Local Shriners chapters are broadening their base by providing unique opportunities for families. Shrine Centers host barbeques, football watch parties and other events, which are not only family-friendly, but also cater to heightened family involvement.

Shriners International also partners with numerous organizations related to Freemasonry that are open to women, teenagers and children.

What is a Shriners Legacy?

The Shriners Legacy program was established to recognize those who establish a family tradition of fraternal membership. Multiple Shriners within the same family (fathers and sons, grandfathers, nephews, uncles, in-laws, brothers and others) may receive a certificate and lapel pin recognizing their legacy.

Where are Shriners meetings held?

With almost 200 chapters in several countries, Shriners International has a wide fraternal footprint. Regular meetings are held at local Shrine Centers (chapters), but some areas may not have a chapter location in close proximity. To fill this void, chapters often sponsor local Shriners clubs that meet for fun and fellowship in the remote areas away from their chapter locations.

What is the induction ceremony like?

Chapters host “ceremonial sessions” which are used for the initiation ceremonies. These ceremonies are somber and serious, evoking the conscious focus on our mission to unite in fellowship and help children and families in need. Some chapters utilize educational presentations to help demonstrate our cause. Depending on schedules, chapters may hold an abbreviated ceremony with the recommendation that a full ceremonial be held later.

How are my annual dues structured?

Each local chapter’s dues vary. Typically, a portion of your dues is paid to Shriners International as a per-capita tax, and a $5 assessment goes to help support Shriners Children's. The balance is used for chapter operations. Lifetime, prepayment membership options may be available for each portion of your annual dues/renewal fees.

More About Being a Shriner

Path to Becoming a Shriner

We are seeking men of integrity, character and compassion to join us, no matter where you are in your journey.

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Our Philanthropy

The members of Shriners International founded, and continue to support Shriners Children’s, one of the largest pediatric sub-specialty healthcare systems in the world, with locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico. 

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Our Core Principles

Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. 

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Join Shriners International

Take the first step in joining our global community of brothers.