Friendship Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of August in many countries including India. According to the UN, Friendship Day is on 30th of July. Friendship Day is a day to honor friendship, and to let friends know how special they are. It celebrates the bond of friendship which connects people beyond race, creed and color. People wish their friends to acknowledge the many meaningful ways in which they add joy to their lives. Friends meet and celebrate this day together with great enthusiasm.
The historical perspective
The U.S. Congress formally declared the first Sunday of August as Friendship Day in 1935. The idea of honoring friends was appreciated by people, especially young people, and the day came to be celebrated annually with much fanfare. Gradually Friendship Day began to be celebrated whole-heartedly by people all over the world.
The UN declared 30th July as International Friendship Day in 2011, resulting in the day being celebrated on different days in different countries. Winnie The Pooh was declared as the Ambassador of Friendship by the UN. The UN encourages governments, organizations and groups to organize activities which foster better understanding between people of different backgrounds on this day. Tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding each other irrespective of religion, race and color is imperative to establish a culture of peace in the world today.
Friendship Day continues to be celebrated all around the world by people belonging to diverse cultures and across all social segments. With time, the ways of celebration might have changed, but the day is still relevant as the basic idea of honoring friends holds true even today.
How do they celebrate it?
Friendship Day has a noble goal, as set down by the UN, which is to bridge the gap between people. Groups and organizations celebrate the day by planning various events to bring people together. Friends wish each other on social networking sites and by sending SMS messages. Technology has made it easier for people to communicate with their friends in any corner of the world. The internet has enabled people to wish and chat with their friends through various media.
People gift each other Friendship Day cards and pink and yellow roses, which symbolize friendship. Friendship bands and bracelets are popular among youngsters and many of them can be seen wearing these on this day. These extremely popular wristlets and bands are a token of everlasting friendship. People plan get-togethers and reunions on this day. Writing gratitude letters, giving thoughtful gifts are other meaningful ways to cherish friends. Sharing a meal with them and listening to them sincerely, makes friends feel special and brings them closer to us.
How people prepare for it
Some people celebrate in a spontaneous manner, making spur of the moment plans. Many people prepare for the day in advance, planning many activities with them, like picnics and trips. Picnics are a fun way to enjoy delicious food in the company of friends. Beach parties, sleepovers and watching movies together are some favorite Friendship Day pastimes. Playing golf or billiards together and visiting old haunts with friends and reliving the past is attractive to some people. Others catch up with friends by enjoying music concerts, and exciting football and baseball matches. Restaurants offer big discounts and people take advantage of this to enjoy sumptuous dinners. Nowadays, partying through the night has become a common trend among the young.
Dedicating songs on the radio is a sentimental way to let friends know their importance. Teenagers make friendship posters, write poems, make CD mixes of their friend’s favorite songs and give them as gifts. Friendship books, chocolates, flowers and greeting cards have now become a tradition, especially among youngsters. Taking pictures together and posting them on social networking sites has become a norm. These sites get flooded with people posting pictures of their Friendship Day outing.
Once in a year comes a day when we can acknowledge the contribution of our friends to our lives. Friendship Day is a day to express love and gratitude to friends who stand by us, encourage us and add color to our lives.