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International Day of Friendship seeks to promote the role that friendship plays across all cultures. To mark this special day, the United Nations encourages community groups, organizations, and governments to hold events that promote reconciliation, mutual understanding, and solidarity.

History Of The International Day Of Friendship

Today’s world is a complicated place. Because of this, the United Nations wanted to remind everyone about all of the great and the good in the world by embracing International Day of Friendship in 2011!

International Day of Friendship got its start about a hundred years earlier though. Originally founded by Hallmark in 1919, this 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, even though many countries celebrate on the first Sunday of August.

According to the International Friendship Day declaration, people 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.”

The power of friendship is an international one that reaches out to all corners and cultures of the globe. International Day of Friendship is all about promoting togetherness and kindness, bringing people together.

Why International Day of Friendship Matters

Friendship benefits people’s lives in so many different ways. Take a look at the reasons why friendship is important:

  • Friendship Enhances Emotional Resilience. Sharing good times with people you love and having a network of friends to help you through those bad times makes it easier for you to navigate the ups and downs that life inevitably throws at us.
  • Friendship Boosts Brainpower. The University of Michigan has found that hanging out with other people – even just for ten minutes – will improve your ability to solve problems and your brainpower.
  • Friendship May Improve Sleep. Did you know that friendship even helps improve your ZZZs? In a study, the University of Chicago found that people are more restless during sleep if they don’t socialize.
  • Friendship Makes People Healthier. A study carried out at the University of North Carolina found that people without strong connections have higher abdominal obesity rates and increased blood pressure.

How To Celebrate International Day Of Friendship

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. Consider some of these ways to celebrate International Day of Friendship:

Do Nice Things for People

Reach out to friends and do something that is going to put a smile on their face. This could be anything from enjoying a coffee together to simply sending a text message to someone that you have not spoken to in a while. Spend the day doing nice things for people, putting a smile on their faces.

Make a New Friend

Another way to celebrate the International Day of Friendship is to make new friends! There are so many different ways that you can make new connections today. Thanks to the Internet, it is easier than ever before to connect with like-minded people. Join forums or websites where you can chat with new people or go to a local community event and make an effort to speak to new people.

Attend a Cultural Event for International Day of Friendship

Consider attending a community cultural celebration in honor of International Friendship Day. If there is a community center that you have been meaning to check in your local area but have not had the chance to do so, now is a perfect time! Check the schedule to find out about any events that are being hosted here. You can meet some new people and learn about different lifestyles and cultures that you may not have heard much about before.

Host an Event for Friends

Or, why not invite your friends around and cook a nice meal for them? There is nothing better than enjoying good food and a drink with friends, right? Going out of your way to cook a nice meal for the people close to you is something that your friends are assured to appreciate. If your friends don’t live nearby, why not send them a greeting card, thanking them for their friendship and letting them know that you are thinking about them?

Enjoy Some Favorite Friendship Quotes

Consider some of the things these famous people have to say about friendship:

A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself — and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.

Jim Morrison

I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.

John Katz

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.

William Shakespeare

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.

Muhammad Ali

Show Appreciation to a Friend

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.

Celebrate International Day of Friendship at School

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 of those besties, whether near or far, know how much they are cared for and appreciated. 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 friendship means.

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