Friendship day 2019: History, significance of the day when people commemorate bonds that turned strangers into friends

Though the idea first germinated in the mind of Dr Ramon Artemio Bracho in 1958 when he was having dinner with his friends in Puerto Pinasco in Paraguay, it was in first the US in 1935 where the celebration was initiated as National Friendship Day. Later, many countries started observing the day after it became a success there.

FP Staff August 03, 2019 14:55:50 IST
Friendship day 2019: History, significance of the day when people commemorate bonds that turned strangers into friends
  • From exchanging gifts and greeting cards to catching up for movie dates or making elaborate food plans, the first Sunday in the month of August is observed as Friendship Day

  • The idea first germinated in the mind of Dr Ramon Artemio Bracho in 1958 when he was having dinner with his friends in Puerto Pinasco in Paraguay

  • It was in first the US in 1935 where the celebration was initiated as National Friendship Day

It is said that people can't pick their family but the company a person keeps tells a lot about them. And friendship is a bond made special only by the free will a human exercises in picking these companions in life. You bicker, you love, you share, and console each other, expressing a wider variety of human emotions in front of your friend than in most relations. People are largely the least opaque with their friends than with any one else. The first Sunday in the month of August is only an occasion to commemorate that bond.

From exchanging gifts and greeting cards to catching up for movie dates or making elaborate food plans, people take out time Friendship Day to appreciate this beautiful bond. This year, it falls on 4 August.

Friendship day 2019 History significance of the day when people commemorate bonds that turned strangers into friends

American sitcom Friends is a huge part of pop culture and is often remembered for it's relatable storyline as six friends try to get through life in New York

When did it all begin? 

Though the idea first germinated in the mind of Dr Ramon Artemio Bracho in 1958 when he was having dinner with his friends in Puerto Pinasco in Paraguay, it was first in the US on 30 July 1935 where the celebration was initiated as National Friendship Day. Later, many countries started observing the day after it became a success in US.

On 27 April, 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared 30 July as the official International Friendship Day. In a sweet gesture, the UN named Winnie the Pooh as World's Ambassador of Friendship in 1998.

Hallmark Greeting cards founder Joyce Hall, who coined the term in 1930, is also credited for getting attention and importance to Friendship’s Day.

The day was consciously pronounced to cherish friendship and value the people in our lives. According to the United Nations' website, "Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good."

However, in India and Malaysia the day is celebrated on the first Sunday of August every year, other countries celebrate it on different dates.

How it is celebrated?

Every year, friends commemorate the day by exchanging gifts, planning outings, hosting brunches or going on trips. People in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and South American countries, celebrate the day by tying colourful friendship bracelets on their friends’ wrists.

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