Whether they’re near or far, old or new, best friends help to carry us through our lives. This June 8, National Best Friends Day, it’s time to tell them how much we appreciate their company. As the Mayo Clinic reports: “Friends help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss, or the death of a loved one. They also encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise.” Today’s the day to enjoy a little one-on-one time with the people who never fail to catch us when we fall. If you want to buy a friend something special to mark the occasion then check our list of great gifts for your best friend.
When is National Best Friends Day 2024?
The friends we have chosen are cherished and celebrated on National Best Friends Day on June 8.
History of National Best Friends Day
We have our own country to thank for this lighthearted holiday. In 1935, the U.S. Congress gathered to devote a day each year in tribute to close friends. They chose June 8, which is usually a balmy day in all regions of the country—perfect for outdoor activities. Since then, many other countries have adopted the practice. Some even throw festivals to celebrate their chosen family.
This holiday has given rise to a handful of other friendship-themed days for celebration, including Friendship Day, Women’s Friendship Day, and even an entire week called Old Friends, New Friends Week. Ironically, almost all celebrations of friendship occur in the summer.
While the holiday seems to have lost popularity through the years, it has seen a recent upsurge in engagement since the advent of social media. Now, on June 8 every year, people rush to post fun photographs of themselves with their most trusted friends. The recognizable hashtag #nationalbestfriendsday allows users to witness just how many Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter users are celebrating along with them.
National Best Friends Day timeline
National Best Friends Day is established during a U.S. Congressional hearing.
Mary Wisniewski revitalizes the holiday by writing about it in a column of the “Chicago Sun-Times.”
BFF.tv partners with DoSomething.org to host a celebration of National Best Friends Day in Times Square.
America’s most popular coffee-shop chain, Starbucks, runs a promotional social media campaign encouraging its employees to celebrate their 'work best friends.'
National Best Friends Day - Survey Results
NATIONALTODAY.COM NATIONAL BEST FRIENDS’ DAY SURVEY
Do you have a best friend?
#1: Yes, one (46%)
#2: Yes, multiple (39%)
#3: No (15%)
Who do Americans consider to be their best friends?
#1: My significant other (43%)
#2: My dog (19%)
#3: My mom (19%)
#4: My sibling (14%)
#5: My dad (11%)
#6: My cat (9%)
Do you believe you can only have one best friend?
#1: No (75%)
#2: Yes (25%)
Which of the following about best friends is true for you:
#1: My best friend is like a family member (54%)
#2: I have owned a “best friend” necklace or bracelet (22%)
#3: I have made a friendship bracelet for my best friend (16%)
#4: My parents like my best friend more than me (6%)
When did you meet your best friend?
#1: Elementary school (24%)
#2: High school (24%)
#3: Middle school (18%)
#4: Post high school/college (16%)
#5: Post-college (11%)
#6: Preschool (8%)
Traditions of the Day
Traditions for this holiday vary. No two (or more) best friends have the same traditions; it is unique to everyone. The shenanigans that best friends get up to are enjoyed and shared only between them, which include memorable adventures, fun gatherings, and even inside jokes. These traditions are relived on National Best Friends Day.
There are low-key common traditions — just hanging out and chilling at home watching movies with friends, or going to the mall or your favorite cafe together. And then there are more elaborate ways to celebrate this day with your best friends like dressing up and heading out to paint the town red or having a fancy dinner. Presents are also exchanged on this day like ‘best friends’ lockets or scrapbooks to cement the friendship and remind each other of the special bond you share, no matter how much time has passed.
By the Numbers
22% – the percentage of people who live longer if they have a close friendship network.
2 – the average number of best friends an adult has.
1994 – the year when the hit television show “Friends” first aired.
26% – the percentage of people who come into conflict with their friends over something posted online.
2 times – the likelihood of women with breast cancer dying if they don’t have a network of friends.
9 months – the age at which babies start recognizing friendships.
36% – the percentage of people who quit a habit if their friends quit it too.
7 times – the likelihood of a person being more productive at work if their close friend works there too.
10–25 – the number of hours a week young adults spend socializing.
57% – the percentage of teens who make a close friend online.
National Best Friends Day FAQs
Is National Best Friends Day a real holiday?
Yes! While National Best Friends Day doesn’t have quite as much traction as Thanksgiving, this day was handpicked and documented by the U.S. Congress long ago. It’s as real as our best friends are!
Can your best friend also be your romantic interest?
Of course! In fact, many Americans consider their spouses or partners to also be their best friends. As long as they love you, support you, and make you laugh, there are no rules to who a best friend can be.
Should I be talking to my best friend daily?
It’s up to you how you choose to communicate with your companions. Some people are able to go months without talking and pick up right where they left off, while others need more consistent life updates to feel close. If you’re not sure, you should ask your best friend what they expect!
National Best Friends Day Activities
Reach out to your best friend
Carve out 30 minutes to catch up with your best friend. Schedule a time to meet up, FaceTime, or talk on the phone, and update that person on all the happenings of your life. Trust us—they want to hear all about it!
Plan a gift for your best friend
Purchase and send a gift to your favorite confidant. After all those long phone calls, wild nights out, and crazy exes, your person deserves a treat! We recommend a gift certificate to a spa.
Remember the good times
Reminisce on good memories. Look through your old photos, read that tattered journal, and show your findings to your best friend. Remembering what you’ve been through together will inevitably remind you just how grateful you are for your relationship.
5 Facts About America’s Best Friends
Some have paws
That’s right, 19% of surveyed American citizens claim that their most loyal pals are their dogs, while 9% admit that their cats mean the most. It’s time to pull out the kibble and catnip! These furry friends deserve a little extra love this holiday.
We meet them young
The majority of best friend relationships are formed in childhood. When asked, 70% of our respondents said they found their lifelong mates in elementary, middle, or high school.
They keep us healthy
Studies show that having a trusted friend in our lives can reduce stress and improve our immune systems. Sharing our burdens with a stable companion seems to improve quality of life significantly.
It’s normal to have more than one
As we move through life stages, it’s perfectly common to pick up more than one intimate bond. From childhood friends to college party partners, many Americans consider their best friend circle to extend past one person.
They stand the test of time
Many best friend relationships outlive marriages, cross-country moves, and even our parents. The magic of platonic love can withstand even the worst struggles.
Why We Love National Best Friends Day
They’re the family we choose
Inevitably, our relatives’ expectations and judgements will wear us thin. Luckily, best friends are always there to lighten the mood. Since we get to choose who our best friends are, they’re usually compatible with our personalities and interests. They understand us, respect us and, best of all, they know when to give us space.
They understand us
Naturally, many of our best friends have something important in common with us. Whether they’re navigating the same life stages, working in the same career field, or avidly interested in the same hobby, best friends simply understand us better than anyone else.
When it’s time to let loose, best friends are always up for an adventure. They’re the ones we travel with, dance with, and relax with. Like human spa days, our best friends always know how to bring us zen.
National Best Friends Day dates