Human beings have always valued the importance of friends in their lives and are social creatures. To celebrate this relation it was deemed fit to have a day dedicated to friendship and friends. In the honor of friends, The first Sunday of August was declared by a Proclamation made by the US Congress in 1935. Since then, this day is being celebrated on the first Sunday in August every year.
Friendship Day was initially founded in 1919 by Hallmark. The intention was for people to celebrate this day by sending each other cards. But, by 1940 the market dried up and the celebrations of the day completely died out. Another origin story is that in the year 1935, the United States Congress proclaimed that the first Sunday of every August will be dedicated to National Friendship Day. It was to honor beautiful friendships.
In 1997, the United Nations (UN) named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship. In the year 2011, the UN recognized 30 July as International Friendship Day. However, many countries in the world celebrate Friendship Day on the first Saturday of August.
Friendship Day is celebrated all over the world where friends exchange cards, flowers, and gifts. They tie Friendship bands on others’ wrists to commemorate their friendship and bond. Many even make bands and bracelets at home, customizing them for friends. Apart from material gifts, you will also find Friendship Day poems, songs, messages, quotes, and images shared between friends.
Why celebrate Friendship Day
This day is celebrated solely to honor the friends we have made in life and thank them for the meaningful direction that our lives have taken since we met them. The significance of friends has only grown as societies have moved from joint families to nuclear families. Bonds are formed so strong, that friends regard each other as a family rather than friends.
Another reason is that in this day and age, people have become so busy with their own lives, that they have little to no personal time to spend with friends. Schedules clash, appointments get canceled, and plans are forgotten.
Friendship Day is a constant in our ever-changing lives. The reason to celebrate this day is that no matter how strong relationships are, they do need validation and nurture on occasions. And Friendship Day is an opportunity to realize and show our unconditional love and support to our friends.
How to celebrate
This great idea of celebrating Friendship Day was joyfully accepted by many other countries across the world. And today, almost every country celebrates the first Sunday of August as Friendship Day every year. It is celebrated traditionally, people meet their friends and exchange flowers and cards, and also tie friendship bands to honor their friends. Many social and cultural organizations too celebrate the occasion and mark Friendship Day by hosting programs and getting together.
What primarily started as a tradition followed every year in schools and colleges with small exchanges, has now become commercialized across the world. Gifts have become more expensive and personalized and events such as parties and brunches are held dedicated to this day at an extra cost.