We celebrate the spirit of friendship and companionship during International Friendship Month, which takes place in February. What would we be without our friends? Can you imagine life without a shoulder to cry on as you reel from a bad breakup? Or a companion to hog all the junk food with as you watch the scariest movies while hiding undercover. Friends are the family we choose, and it’s time we pay this underrated relationship admiration and honor with a month-long celebration.
History of International Friendship Month
Earmarking days of the year to cherish important relationships is instrumental to our culture. But not every special day can be inclusive to all. While Father’s Day and Mother’s Day leave some people behind, there is one celebration we can universally be a part of — friendship. Long-distance, neighbors, short, long, family, acquaintances, and so on, friends come in all shapes and sizes, and boy should we be thankful for them.
Renditions of Friendships Day have been in celebration since the early 20th century. In 1930, an American entrepreneur and founder of Hallmark Cards, Joyce Hall, led an effort to designate August 2 as National Friendship Day to celebrate the spirit of friendship that embodies our lives. His efforts were shot down by critics as gimmicks of business promotion. It wasn’t until the late 1950s when South American countries picked up on the trend and proclaimed days of the year in celebration of relationships.
In 1958, Paraguay became the first country to announce Friendship Day, which was to be celebrated on July 30. As the world reels from unprecedented times, we need international solidarity now more than ever. The friendship between nations and their citizens is essential to global prosperity, and celebrating this spirit of brotherhood and commonality is the key essence behind the day.
While we celebrate Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August, the month-long celebration of friendship in unison with the world falls in February. The origin and designation of this observation remain unclear, but the intention does not. International Friendship Day honors the beauty and necessity of friendships in our lives and is a call to bridge the gap between strangers and acquaintances.
International Friendship Month timeline
Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, proclaims August 2 as National Friendship Day.
Paraguay celebrates the first-ever Friendship Day on July 30.
The U.K.'s Oddfellows Friendly Society proclaims that September will be celebrated as Friendship Month, inspiring the International Friendship Month.
The United Nations designates July 30 as International Friendship Day in its 65th session.
International Friendship Month FAQs
What is the best gift for a friend?
Any personalized merchandise like a locket or a bracelet makes for a pretty awesome gift for a friend. Gifts entailing an inside detail only the both of you are privy of are always special.
What is the best way to make new friends?
Join a club or a Facebook group, volunteer for a cause, and mingle with the crowd, or hang out with the friends of your friends. Being open, direct, and respectful with people is the best way to make new friends.
How to be a good friend?
Be loyal, trustworthy, and attentive to your friends. Reciprocation and being present in their lives go a long way as well. Ultimately, being a good person and caring for the people around you is what makes you a good friend.
International Friendship Month Activities
Write a letter to a childhood friend
International Friendship Month is a month-long observation. Now that you don’t have an excuse of running out of time, why not ring a childhood friend and reminisce about the good old days of bleeding knees and ice cream lollies.
Organize a weekend getaway
February is a great month for early spring picnics and ski trips. As we transcend into the grueling months of the year ahead, take this opportunity to surprise your friends with a quick weekend trip and shower them with love and care.
Have a friendship movie marathon
It’s time to turn on the “First Wives Club” or “Bridesmaids” and enjoy the final stretch of hot cocoa and weighted blankets with your besties. As you wrap this beautiful month of February and celebrate the spirit of friendship, end your nights with your favorite movies of the same.
5 Iconic On-screen Friendships That’ll Make You Ring Your Best Friend
Harry, Hermoine, and Ron (“Harry Potter”)
You say friendship, we think “Harry Potter.” Just like Harry’s journey would have been incomplete without his friends, our lives are incomplete without ours.
Cher and Dionne (“Clueless”)
From fighting for your grades to crushing on your step-brother (ew!), high school can be hard. Thankfully, Dionne had Cher’s back and vice versa.
Timon and Pumba (“The Lion King”)
Timon and Pumba’s sincere affection and everlasting bond of friendship prove one thing: humans do not have a monopoly on friendship.
Han Solo and Chewbacca (“Star Wars”)
Life’s easier when you have your best pal Chewie by your side. Don’t believe us? Ask Solo.
Thelma and Louise (“Thelma & Louise”)
All’s fair in love, war… and friendship. That’s what the ‘do or die’ bond of Thelma and Louise teaches us.
Why We Love International Friendship Month
A day is not enough
While we have a day dedicated to our friends, it is simply not enough, right? Friendship deserves a month-long celebration. International Friendship Month also allows us to reignite our correspondence with our long-term and long-distance friends.
It’s time to make new friends
In February, you not only get to celebrate your existing friendships but also get a chance to make brand new friends. On the 11th day of the month, we celebrate National Make a Friend Day. Ain’t this a perfect sign to get out of your comfort zone and make new friends.
It’s a call to renew our bonds
Friendships, if not handled with care over the years, can turn to stone. As we grow up, bills and deadlines hog up all of our time, and it becomes harder to stay in touch with our friends. Thankfully, we have the entire month of February to renew our bonds and catch up with old pals. Hey! No excuses now.
International Friendship Month dates