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All About Friendship Day

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." Anais Nin

The world recognised the importance of celebrating the warmest of all bonds 'Friendship' on 1935. Although a late realization, it was worth it, for all the gala and get together for the celebration of life's most essential relationship. Read all about its origin, interesting facts and its celebration in India.

There is not much literature or history on Friendship Day. However, there are numerous folktales, biblical stories and several instance in mythological legends that shows that friends and friendship have been valued since the beginning of civilized world. For one of the bible verses states,

"Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends." John 15:13-15

In the year 1935 the United States Congress announced the first Sunday of August as the National Friendship Day. It was initially declared a holiday in honor of friends. From then on, world joins together to celebrate Friendship Day with much enthusiasm and fervor.

Interesting facts
Here are some interesting facts about friendship day celebration,

  • Women's Friendship Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of September. So, girls, do not forget your special day.
  • Best Friends Weekend is a holiday celebrated over June 23 - June 25. It is a day that honors animals, as designated by the Best Friends Animal Society. The first day of the weekend is called Best Friends' Day.
  • DÍa del Amigo (Spanish, Friend's Day) is a celebration of friendship, held annually on July 20, mainly in Argentina and Uruguay.
  • International Friendship Month is February
  • Old Friends, New Friends Week is the third week of May
  • In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie - the Pooh as the world's Ambassador of Friendship.

Although the dates and the reason behind the celebration differs from place to place the theme is the same 'treasure a day, with loads of gifts and love for the wonderful friend you have!

Friendship Day in India
Friendship Day has been commercialized to a great extent in India. However, it is mainly limited to the to the youngsters as they are particularly marked in schools and colleges. Children make Friendship Day Cards or other special gifts to thank their friends for their on this occasion. Exchange of Friendship bracelets is one of the most prominent feature of Friendship Day celebrations. Sending SMS and Friendship Day e-cards is another popular way of greeting friends too.

A week before the festival, gift marketers run an extensive campaign to lure people to buy cards and gifts for their friends. Restaurateurs offer special discounts on holding bashes on this day. However, such a campaigning has gained much criticism They feel commercialization has marred the refined idea behind observing Friendship Day by making it a formal business to be followed. Some people however feel that advertising campaign has helped to generate awareness about Friendship Day festival dedicated especially to their ever loving friends.

What ever may be the controversy or the thinking, just remember that the day is especially for the one who walked in your life when the rest of the world opted to walk out. So enjoy your day with great fun and cherish the moment for the years to come.

Story first published: Thursday, July 26, 2007, 16:21 [IST]
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