Grab your phone, jump on your bike, or fire up the Playstation for old time’s sake, it’s International Friendship Day! The day of the year where friends from all over the world show appreciation for one another and remind you why they’re your very best bud. Whether you want to send a card, shoot over a text message, create a photo collage on Facebook, or go and see them in person, there is a way for everybody to celebrate International Friendship Day.
History of International Friendship Day
International Friendship Day was originally founded by Hallmark in 1919. It was intended to be a day for people to celebrate their friendship by sending each other cards, but by 1940 the market had dried up, and eventually, it died out completely. However, in 1998 Winnie the Pooh was named the world’s Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations (believe it or not!), and in April 2011, the United Nations officially recognized 30th July as International Friendship Day; although most countries celebrate on the first Sunday of August! Furthermore, with the rise of social media making us more connected than ever before, International Friendship Day hashtags give everyone the chance to get involved no matter where they are in the world.
According to the International Friendship Day declaration, we are invited to “observe this day in an appropriate manner, in accordance with the culture and other appropriate circumstances or customs of their local, national and regional communities, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.”
While this might sound like too much red tape and bureaucracy when it comes to something as all-encompassing as International Friendship Day, it is actually something to celebrate. The variety of cultures worldwide means that no one will celebrate this day the same, and that’s a marvelous phenomenon. The power of friendship is an international one that reaches out to all corners and cultures of the globe.
How to celebrate International Friendship Day
There are no set rules on how to celebrate International Friendship Day. The beauty of all friendships, whether tried and tested or new and burgeoning, is that each one is unique from the last. This gives you and your best buddies a blank slate to do whatever you want to do, within reason, of course, and celebrate it however you see fit, and how to honor the memories you have made together.
Taking a trip together to celebrate is an excellent way to make the day all about each other. You can visit places that mean something to you, whether that’s the beach where you first met or the scene of your most infamous exploits. Or, you can go to that one place where you promised each other you’d always go.
With so many people living such busy lives, however, not everyone can plan a big day out for each other. But that’s what makes International Friendship Day such a wonderful occasion. Best friends understand that life often gets in the way, so they won’t be disappointed if there’s no colossal celebration in their honor. Maybe next year, though?
Just a phone call checking in on them could morph into an hours-long conversation discussing life, the universe, and everything in between. For long-lost friends, this is a great way to catch up and spill all the secrets that don’t end up on social media. For friends who still keep in regular contact, it’s always a great way to learn about what each other had for lunch.
Likewise, celebrating International Friendship Day at school is easy, too. Students can write essays about what friendships mean to them, and why they consider their friends to be their best. Similarly, art, poetry, and other avenues are all ways to get kids thinking about what friendship is.
So, today more than any other day is the chance to let all your besties, whether near or far, know how much you care for and appreciate them. It’s the chance to reach out to old friends, new friends, and even those you see every day of the week, and do something that celebrates what your friendship means to you.