International Friendship Day is a day for celebrating friendship. The day has been celebrated in several southern South American countries for many years, particularly in Paraguay, where the first World Friendship Day was proposed in 1958. Friendship Day celebrations take place on the first Sunday of August every year. The tradition of dedicating a day, in honour of friends, began in The United States in 1935. Gradually the festival gained popularity and today Friendship Day is celebrated in large number of countries including India. On this day people spend time with their friends and express love for them. Exchange of Friendship Day Gifts like flowers, cards and wrist bands is a popular tradition of this occasion.
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 recognised 30th July as International Friendship Day; although most countries celebrate on the first Sunday of August! Today, it has taken the shape of a grand festival. Over the passing years, the festivities related to Friendship Day have become even more colourful. The exchange of gifts, flowers, friendship bands and greeting cards has become an important part and a tradition of Friendship Day. Apart from the exchange of gifts, partying all through the night is one of the recent developments of Friendship Day which is seen largely among the youngsters.
According to the 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”.
Bernard Meltzer said -“A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg even though he knows that you are slightly cracked.”
The idea of honouring friendship has been appreciated by people in many countries of the world. With the advancement in the field of science and technology, connecting to friends on the wonderful occasion of Friendship Day has become easier. It is the perfect occasion to show your friends that you care and to recollect sweet memories of the time spent together. True friends are hard to find, so if you have one, make sure that you let your friend know on this day how much they mean to you.