National Friendship Day occurs every year on the first Sunday of August — August 1, 2021 — and celebrates the importance of loving platonic relationships. Friendships are the purest type of human relationships. For more than a century, we’ve celebrated the strength of friendship, and thanks to social media, we’re able to continue celebrating with our friends no matter where they are in the world.
When is National Friendship Day 2021?
Friends — the family that we choose — is celebrated on National Friendship Day on August 1.
History of National Friendship Day
Humans are the most social beings on earth: we need to relate to others, just as Abraham Maslow exposed in his Hierarchy of human needs. Our sociological needs motivate our behavior, encouraging us to make interpersonal relationships and connect with others on a deeper level. With such a huge need for human connection with people other than our significant other, it’s no wonder that we celebrate an entire holiday based on the importance of friendship.
National Friendship Day was originally a marketing strategy for Hallmark Cards in the 1930s. Founder Joyce Hall designated the day would take place on August 2 and decided it would be a day to celebrate the people closest to you — and send them a card or two in the process. It soon became a bigger deal than originally planned when the 1935 U.S. Congress pronounced the first Sunday of August as National Friendship Day.
The holiday continued gaining popularity, and in 1998 the United Nations named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship. In 2011, during their 65th session, the U.N. designated July 30 International Friendship Day.
Nowadays, we celebrate National Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August. Thanks to advancements in technology, it is easier to get in touch with friends, to share, and to be thankful for them.
This August 2, celebrate the lover you create and share with the family that you chose — the friends who get you through hard times and cheer you on during your most successful moments.
National Friendship Day timeline
The Greeting Cards National Association starts promoting the idea of Friendship Day, but customers just don't buy it.
As a marketing strategy to increase the sales of greeting cards, Hallmark Cards establishes and commercializes the holiday.
The U.S. Congress proclaims the first Sunday of August as National Friendship Day, highlighting the valuable role that friends play in our lives.
The World Friendship Crusade proposes July 30 as World Friendship Day to foster a culture of peace through friendship.
National Friendship Day Traditions
Traditions for this holiday vary. No two (or more) best friends have the same traditions; they are 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.
National Friendship Day 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 Friendship Day FAQs
Is today National Friendship Day?
Let’s take a quick look at the calendar. Is today the first sunday of August? Well, we’re all in luck! It just so happens to be National Friendship Day.
When is National Best Friends Day?
National Best Friends Day lands on June 8 every year. The perfect summer holiday, spend some time with your besties and post each other’s faces all over your social media.
When is National Boyfriend Day?
Every year on October 3, we celebrate National Boyfriend Day. Partners all over the world celebrate the men in their lives who keep them on their toes and support them through all odds.
National Friendship Day Activities
Start the day by being thankful for the friends you have and embrace the feeling of being loved and spreading love. Whether you have a small group of close knit friends or a large group of besties, your friends are some of the most important people in your life.
Share memories on your social media
The best part of having friends is that you are never alone, especially nowadays that we are just one text away from our friends. Share memories and special moments on your social media to relive some of those early moments that solidified your friend group.
Spend some time with your friends
There is no better way to celebrate National Friendship day than spending some time with your friends. Go out, cook together, have a long time video call, play together online, or go to someone’s house and do nothing!
5 Obscure Facts About National Friendship Day
The Bible reflects friendship as the union that contributes to the foundation of human faith, trust, companionship, and teamwork.
From Hannah Montana's "True Friend" to The Beatles "With a Little Help from My Friends" there are many anthems to celebrate our friends.
Asia adopted it too!
The idea of honoring friendships was adopted by many countries in Asia in the 1950s, including China, Malaysia, and India.
Breaking the barriers
The main idea of National Friendship Day is to help to bridge the gaps between people of different ages, races, nationalities, and religions, and to help build strong communities.
The Color of Friendship
What better color to represent friendship than Yellow? The brightest and Happiest color is the best representation of what a healthy friendship can mean to us.
Why We Love National Friendship Day
Not easy, but worth it
Just like any other human relationship, friendships can go through dark and difficult times. We all are different and it is ok to have arguments, but if it is a healthy relationship, we’re able to endure it and become stronger together.
Union makes us stronger, so it is ok to admit that we can't go through difficulties alone. This day reminds us that if we’re feeling down, we can always share it with someone else and have company to get us through to better times.
Friend groups are often made up of people stemming from multiple different backgrounds. Just by being friends with someone different than ourselves, we’re able to learn more about different backgrounds and break down any preconceived barriers.
National Friendship Day dates
National Friendship Day Featured Video
Celebrate National Friendship Day!