Friendship Day marks the day when the bond of friendship is celebrated. It enables all to reach out to the friends who have stood by us and let them know how special they are.
This day can be celebrated in various ways – by sending wishes over the phone, greeting cards, gifts and phone calls. It is celebrated on a different date across the world.
30th July has been declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations as Friendship Day, even then various countries like India celebrate it on the first Sunday of August.
- Origin Of Friendship Day
It first began in the year 1935, when the U.S. Congress declared the first Sunday of the month of August as the Friendship Day. Though the main reasons behind the creation of this day is not clear but one the reasons might be the First World War. The catastrophic effects of the war still lingering and the increase of hostile relation between countries might have led to the creation of Friendship Day. It had become a necessity to develop the feeling of friendship not only among the countries but also among people.
With time, this day gained popularity not only in America but across various countries. In modern times the day is celebrated with great enthusiasm between friends. The most popular symbol associated with this day is the ‘Friendship Band’.
- Other versions about the origin of Friendship Day:
- In 1930, the founder of Hallmark Cards, Joyce Hall intended to celebrate the 2nd of August as Friendship Day. It represented a day that would be spent as a holiday to celebrate the bond that friends share.
- In 1958 on July 20th, Dr. Ramon Artemio Bracho was having dinner with friends in Puerto Pinasco. He proposed the idea of World Friendship Day. This laid the foundation for the World Friendship Crusade and they that 30th July would be celebrated as World Friendship Day.
- Variations To The Friendship Day
Friendship Day celebrations might differ from country to country according to the local customs and beliefs. The other variations of Friendship Day are:
- Third Sunday of August is celebrated as Women’s Friendship Day
- Third Week of May is celebrated as Old Friends, New Friends Week
- February Month is celebrated as International Friendship month
- Dates for friendship day in different countries:
- Argentina: celebrates this day as Friend’s Day on the 20th of July. It is not a holiday but friends, both old and new, gather in the evening and celebrate their bond of friendship.
- Brazil: also celebrates the 20th of July as Friend’s Day
- Paraguay: celebrates Friendship Day on the 30th of July, when friends and loved ones exchange gifts. A common custom known as Invisible Friend or Amigo Invisible is still followed. The custom involves small sheets of paper with names being selected secretly by members of the community. On Friendship Day, they give the person whose name is on the paper a gift. It is popular and followed at schools as well as workplace.
- Peru: In Peru it is known as “El dia del Amigo”. This is celebrated on the first Saturday in July. It was proposed by Pilsen Callao who wanted all to recognize true friendship. Another objective was to make its celebrations different from that of Valentine’s Day.
- The Ambassador Of Friendship
In honor of the Friendship Day, Winnie the Pooh was declared to be the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations by Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.