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What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it.

C.S. Lewis

Friendship provides a foundation and a ballast upon which humans can rely in this ever changing world. National Friendship Day offers an ideal opportunity and reminder to show appreciation and affection toward friends.

History of National Friendship Day

Starting out more than 100 years ago as simply a way to encourage people to send a card to friends to show that they care, National Friendship Day has morphed and evolved over the past century.

Less than a decade after the Hallmark Card Company was started in 1910, founder Joyce Hall was working to find creative ways to encourage people to send more greeting cards. Friendship Day began as one of these ideas in 1919, to add to other days like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Sweetest Day. By 1922, the idea was brought to the Greeting Card Association and it became more widespread.

By 1935, the United States Congress followed suit, making National Friendship Day the first Sunday of August. Though the popularity of National Friendship Day fizzled out a bit in the United States in the 1940s, perhaps related to global events, it seems to have been making a comeback in recent decades.

In fact, in 2011, the United Nations began its recognition of the International Day of Friendship, which runs along the same vein and is set to be celebrated a few days sooner than National Friendship Day.

No matter how it began or where it has gone along the way, the idea for a day of friendship is meant to recognize and appreciate the bond of friendship between humans. A shared spirit of solidarity is vital when facing the pressures of the world today.

Deepening bonds of trust and camaraderie among people, young and old, can help to provide stability and safety that help to make the world a better place. And National Friendship Day is the perfect way to get started!

National Friendship Day Timeline

1919

National Friendship Day is founded 

One of the early Hallmark holidays, National Friendship Day is set in the US for the first Sunday in August. It is created by JC Hall, founder of Hallmark Cards.[1]

1926

JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis become friends 

Meeting under the auspices of the academic world of Oxford, these two incredible authors become friends and irreplaceable comrades in their novel-writing endeavors.[2]

1970s

Friendship bracelets become commonplace in the US

As fashion leans toward ethnic items and these are easy to make with thread, these bracelets are given and worn as a symbol of friendship.[3]

1994

Friends television show debuts 

The delightful chemistry of the cast and the charming connection with the writing make this sitcom one of the most popular of all time.[4]

2011

United Nations officially recognizes friendship 

The General Assembly of the UN proclaims the importance of friendship with its International Day of Friendship.[5]

How to Celebrate National Friendship Day

National Friendship Day offers a special opportunity to go above and beyond the normal, everyday appreciation of friends. Take some time out to show someone how much their friendship is treasured by celebrating with one of these ideas:

Spend Time with a Friend

Beyond cards or gifts, truly the best way to show a person how much their friendship means is by spending quality time with them. Offer to take them for a cup of coffee, have a chat over an ice cream cone, or even just go for a walk in the park. Practice being a good listener and be an encouragement for whatever is going on in your friend’s life.

Create and Send a Card to a Friend

Some people might consider holidays created by greeting card companies to be only about lining the pockets of the car companies, but the day can still serve as a nice reminder to tell someone they are loved. For those who want to forego buying a card, it might be fun to create something personal with a hand made card!

Get creative with drawing, stamping, painting or cutting out pictures to make a collage. It might even be fun to get super crafty and make handmade paper to write the note on. Grab an envelope, put it in the mail, and let that friend know how much they are appreciated on National Friendship Day!

Make a New Friend

One amazing thing to do in celebration of National Friendship Day would be to make a new friend ! While it might feel intimidating, perhaps consider asking someone to get a cup of coffee or go for a walk. Maybe it’s a neighbor you’ve been meaning to connect with or perhaps it’s the barista who is so kind getting your morning coffee.

Learn How to Make Friendship Bracelets

For more than 50 years, these little colorful bracelets have been given and received to represent the connection that friends have between one another. These handmade tokens can be large or small, intricate or simple, but what is most important is that they are made with love!

Don’t know how to make them? No problem. A quick internet search will provide all sorts of video tutorials.

Some people don’t know that the colors of friendship bracelets have special meanings. For instance, red is for good luck, passion or adventure while yellow represents creativity, optimism and friendliness.

Try some of these color combinations for making friendship bracelets that represent certain attributes for National Friendship Day:

  • Green, Blue and White

    Green represents hope, nature and compassion, blue is for peace, loyalty and inspiration and white is for truth, kindness and clarity.

  • Purple, Black and Pink

    Purple expresses sophistication and luxury, Pink is about kindness, affection and love, and black shows confidence, power and energy.

  • Brown and Orange

    This blend of colors is earthy and cheery as brown means stability, reliability and comfort while orange speaks for excitement, happiness and joy.

Bake Friendship Bread

A tradition started by Amish people, friendship bread is made from a sourdough starter that is often given by a friend. Each time a loaf is made, a small portion of the starter is kept aside for the next loaf, which is perfect for National Friendship Day.

Because it contains yeast, the friendship bread starter is placed in a warm area where it is stirred daily and can “grow”. Keeping the starter alive means adding a few ingredients on certain days, like flour, sugar and milk. It usually takes about ten days for the starter to be ready to make another loaf.

Once a person has the starter (or has patiently made one from scratch), this is a yummy bread that is fairly easy to make, including ingredients like flour, eggs, baking soda and cinnamon. Because it uses a lot of sugar to make the yeast grow, Amish Friendship bread has a delightfully sweet flavor to it, suitable for toasting or simply eating slathered with butter.

National Friendship Day FAQs

Do friendships change over time?

Sure. Friendships often morph and change over time as the seasons of life change. Sometimes people grow apart and sometimes they grow closer together.[1]

Is friendship important?

Yes! Friendship is vital for mental and emotional health. It prevents isolation and loneliness, reduces stress and boosts happiness.[2]

Can friendship turn into love?

A large percentage of romantic couples start out a friends. In fact, many people prefer this route to love because it begins with a pre-existing foundation of trust.[3]

How do you make friendship bracelets?

As a small token of affection, friendship bracelets can be made by tying knots and/or braiding various colors of embroidery floss.

What does friendship mean?

Friendship is considered to be a state of reciprocated affection, trust, or intimacy between two people that are typically equals in status.[4]

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