Celebrated all around the world, Friendship Day is a holiday on which people can celebrate the special love between friends and ponder the strength and power of their personal friendships.
It was a holiday that was originally created by the greeting card industry as a marking gimmick for them to sell more greeting cards, but that doesn’t stop its popularity from growing one year to the next. While it wasn’t a holiday that was widely celebrated at first, over the years it has picked up a lot of steam and more people are celebrating it than they ever have in the past.
Nowadays, it’s a holiday that people celebrate by exchanging greetings, gifts, cards, flowers, or even wristbands. However, Friendship Day celebrations don’t even have to be that complex.
Some people observe this holiday by simply shooting their friends a text message that expresses their affection for them and how lucky they are to have them in their lives. In the United States and India, this holiday is celebrated on the first Sunday in August, but in other locations around the world, it can be celebrated on other days.
For example, in Colombia, it’s celebrated on the second Saturday of March, and in South Africa, it’s observed on the 16th of April.
The History Of Friendship Day
The creation of Friendship Day has been attributed to the founder of Hallmark Cards, Joyce Hall sometime during the 1920s. She imagined this holiday as one that was observed by friends on August 2nd to celebrate their personal friendship as well as a day to celebrate the idea of friendship in general.
During this time period, it was aggressively marketed, not only by Hallmark but also by many members of the National Greeting Card Association, but this marketing plan didn’t pan out too well with consumers because many of them viewed the day as an obvious gimmick to sell more greeting cards. Few people saw the value of it as its own holiday, so for the next two decades, it kind of fell to the wayside.
As a result of the lack of interest in this holiday, its popularity – and the cards that were associated with it – began to wane during the thirties. This continued up until WWII when the holiday all but became extinct in the United States.
However, as its popularity began to sink in the U.S., it began to become more popular in Asia and Europe. Its popularity soared in Asia, and some historians believe that it was this popularity that would keep the holiday from becoming totally defunct. The US rediscovered this “lost” holiday and people began to once again celebrate this holiday during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In 2011, The General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30th as International Friendship Day. Although that day was officially earmarked for the holiday, many countries – particularly in Europe and Asia – choose to celebrate the day on the first Sunday of August. Now, this day is celebrated by millions of people worldwide. This is pretty unbelievable considering that at one point in time, it was about to die out completely.
In Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Spain, this holiday is known as Friendship Day and is also known by some as Friend’s Day. In these countries, this holiday isn’t celebrated on the first Sunday in August but is celebrated on the 20th of July. It’s a holiday for friends to greet one another in a friendly way and for some people, it’s a reason to exchange gifts with one another.
Observations, Celebrations & Traditions Of Friendship Day
There is a seemingly endless way for people to observe this holiday. They can take a hike or a walk with their friends, plan a movie night out, or throw a party. Friends can make bracelets for one another and then exchange them, or they can give each other gifts such as flowers, cards, or gifts that bear a nostalgic feeling.
People can also use this holiday to reconnect with friends that they haven’t seen in a while or have been out of contact with. People can do this by using the hashtag #FriendshipDay on their social media accounts to give a shout-out to past and current friends.
The purpose of this holiday isn’t to spend money buying gifts or cards for your friends, however. The purpose of this holiday is to rekindle those relationships with people you were once friends with or to refresh the friendship with someone you’re currently friends with. That gives everyone a lot of freedom as to how they want to observe this holiday. How will you observe it when the first Sunday of August comes around? Only you can make that decision.