Friendship Day is an annual event observed worldwide for celebrating the bond of friendship amongst individuals. In lieu of other international events s like Mother's Day and Father's Day, Friendship Day is a day when friends profess their love for each other. Friends acknowledge the importance and presence of one another in their lives. Friends exchange gifts, greeting cards and spend time together to make the day memorable and special.
In India, Friendship Day is celebrated on first Sunday of the month of August and gained widespread popularity in the nineties. The credit of introducing Friendship Day to Indians goes to the entertainment industry as many popular movies and television serials added Friendship Day trope to their storyline and showcased main characters celebrating the day with zeal. Since its introduction, Friendship Day has pervaded every section of Indian society and has become an important calendar event of the year especially amongst school and college going youth.
To make the most out of the occasion, national and international companies introduce new products on the market. Shopping malls and online shopping portals conduct Friendship Day sale and give discounts on various items. Restaurants, movie theatres and other recreational places are occupied by youngsters on the day. With the prevalence of internet in India, Friendship Day is enthusiastically celebrated in the digital world also via various platforms like social media and instant messaging applications. Friends send special messages and write posts recognizing their love for one another. One of the most prominent features of celebrating Friendship Day in India is tying of Friendship Bands on the wrist of friends. The Friendship Band is considered as a symbol of the eternal bond of friendship amongst individuals.
The idea of a holiday dedicated to friends was first introduced by the founder of Hallmark Cards, Joyce Hall in the United States of America in 1930. However, seen as a marketing ploy, the holiday soon lost into obscurity but somehow later revived in popular culture and adopted by many countries across the world. The official date remains first Sunday of August in many countries including India as suggested by Hall.
However, the United Nations has adopted July 30, as the official date of International Day of Friendship. A Paraguay based foundation 'World Friendship Crusade' proposed the idea of the International Day for Friendship and rallied it for years to have it recognized by United Nations. After years of persuasion, a resolution was passed by United Nations General Assembly on April 27, 2011, proclaiming July 30 as the International Day of Friendship in order to enhance cross-cultural harmony and solidarity amongst individuals and communities of different races and religions.
Although, most countries along with the United States of America celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August and the United Nations officially recognizes it on July 30. There are certain countries which have their own history and day reserved for celebrating the bond of friendship. In Argentina and Brazil, Friendship Day is celebrated on July 20.