Friendship day is an important celebration and it occurs in the first week of August each year, though the precise date will vary from year to year.
Friendship day is not unique to India, however: it is celebrated in various countries in the global South and now often in the USA as well. In Colombia, for instance, it occurs on the 23rd of September every year and is called ‘dia de amor y amistad’ (day of love and friendship).
What is the origin of Friendship Day?
Friendship Day started in around 1919 in South America, spreading to the US and Asia over the next few decades. Latin American countries were the driving force behind Friendship Day, with Paraguay proposing the first ever International Friendship Day in 1958. Friendship Day started partly as an analogue to Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. People wanted to be able to celebrate the relationships that they had with their friends, as well as those that they had with their romantic partners and members of their family.
How is Friendship Day celebrated?
Friendship Day is celebrated by spending time with one’s friends. Pairs or groups of friends might go out for a meal, or decide to do something special together such as taking a walk in the park or going out to the theatre or cinema. On Friendship Day, friends may also give each other gifts and cards, or send each other messages on social media or via email or SMS. Friendship Day can be whatever you want it to be: friends will know best what their friends want and how they would most love to celebrate.
The importance of Friendship Day.
Friendship Day in India is so important for many reasons. Here are ten of the significant reasons why this day is such a special annual celebration, and one that is good to keep in our calendars:
1. It is a way of saying thank you: Friendship Day enables us to show our friends how grateful we are for their presence in our lives and the support that they give us. Sometimes, it can be hard to find the words or the right time to express everything that we wish to say to our friends, but Friendship Day provide us with that opportunity.
2. Reminding us of the importance of friendship: having a day devoted to friendship in our calendars reminds us that friendship can be just as important as family relationships and romantic partnerships. That is not to say that family members and romantic partners cannot be friends: in fact, many sisters or couples use Friendship Day as an occasion when they can celebrate the friendship side of their relationships.
3. Encouraging us to make time for our friends: if we have been struggling to find time to see our friends amid a busy working schedule, then Friendship Day gives us the space to make time for them. Spending quality time with those that we love is crucially important. Shared experiences bring us closer together and give us shared memories that we can recount in years to come.
4. Keeping the fabric of society in place: it is not just families that are important to the stability of society – friendships are too. Friendship Day is thus also significant because it is not just something that is special to individual groups of friends – it is also important for society as a whole.
5. Making emotions visible: it can be hard to express our emotions or show our feelings. Following the structure of Friendship Day enables us to make those hidden feelings visible for all to see. It lets love shine forth across the world.
6. Taking time out: taking time out from your usual schedule and shaking things up a bit is a great way to re-center your life and remind you what is really important. Each year, Friendship Day encourages us to put our usual plans on hold and take time out for other people. Who knows: hopefully we will enjoy spending time with our friends so much on Friendship Day that we will make them more of a big part of our life in the weeks and months to come.
7. Showing how proud we are of our friends: on Friendship Day, we show our friends how much we appreciate them but we also show the world. Being able to shout loud and proud about our emotions is so important. It tells our friends that we are happy to have them in our lives and we are not afraid to show it.
8. Giving each other mementoes: a card or a text message that was given to a friend on Friendship Day can be a memento that brightens up their life for years to come. We should never underestimate the importance and the power of these concrete objects to bring joy to others.
9. Beating selfishness: Friendship Day prompts us to consider other people and to do something nice for them. This helps to shake us out of selfish habits of thinking and to remind us that there is more to the world than our own lives, our own perspective, and our own wants. In short, this day helps us to be more altruistic.
10. Making new friends: so far, we have talked about Friendship Day as a way of celebrating old or existing friends. However, it can also provide us with an opportunity to make new friends. Is there anybody whom you would like to get to know better as a friend – perhaps one of your work colleagues or someone where you study? Friendship Day could be your perfect opportunity to let them know that you would like to hang out with them more, or to invite them for a cup of coffee.
As Friendship Day comes round again, it’s a good idea to make plans in advance. How can you make your friends special this year? Try and make the next Friendship Day extra thoughtful, and one that you and your friends will remember for many years to come.