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Every year, there are days that celebrate our mothers, fathers, siblings, children, grandparents and lovers. So isn’t it only fair that there is one dedicated to the love and bond we share with our friends — who are nothing less than a family to us? Well, that’s what Friendship Day is all about. Every first Sunday of August, most people across the world come together to celebrate their most loved friendships. This year, it will celebrated on August 6.
True, there need not be one day dedicated to celebrate our most valuable friends, but nothing better than cherishing all your memories together — old and new, of and with your friends. The first International Friendship Day was proposed in 1958 in Paraguay.
Interestingly, Friendship day is celebrated on different dates across countries. While in Oberlin, Ohio, Friendship Day is celebrated on April 8, after the World Friendship Crusade proposed July 30, 1958 as the first Friendship Day, recently the General Assembly of the UN declared the date as the official day of celebrations. Yet some countries, including India continue to commemorate the festival on the first Sunday of August.
It all began when the founder of Hallmark cards, Joyce Hall, proposed the celebrations in 1930. Before that, Friendship Day was promoted through greeting cards, but eventually people realised it was a gimmick to increase consumerism. But in 1998, in honour of the holiday, Nane Annan, the wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, declared the adorable bear Winnie the Pooh as the global Ambassador of Friendship at the UN.
People especially in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and South American countries, now celebrate this day by gifting each other colourful bracelets that are known as ‘friendship bands’ in common parlance, cards, flowers and gifts to each other on this occasion. In addition, some people celebrate National Women’s Friendship Day on every third Sunday in September, every third week of May is celebrated as New Friends Week and February is known as the International Friendship Month.