Every year on the first Sunday of August, people around the world celebrate International Friendship Day. There are different accounts of when the tradition began; some people think that it originated in 1935, when the US Congress announced the yearly festival; however, others believe that the first ‘official’ International Friendship Day was held in their southern neighbour, Paraguay, in 1958.
Whenever and however it started, the yearly celebration has become increasingly popular around the world, with a growing number of countries deciding to take part as years have gone on. The celebration is so popular because friendship is something everybody experiences during their lifetime, and brings joy and happiness to people across the world.
The day has been widely encouraged by the greeting card industry, and has also flourished due to the development of the internet and the ability to communicate with people all over the world. Here are our top five tips on how to celebrate friendship day.
Throw a party
What better way to celebrate the day of friendship than to spend it with all of the people you love the most? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a big, wild house party; it could be a dinner party, or just a small gathering of a few of your closest friends.
If there are some people who may not know each other at the party, help them become better acquainted. A good way of helping your guests get to know each other better is to ask everybody to bring along their favourite dish, their favourite music and maybe even their favourite party game. Encourage people to mingle as they share their favourites, and the conversation will start flowing naturally.
Reconnect with old friends
We all know that life is busy and can often get in the way of our personal relationships. How many times have you spoken to an old friend and said ‘we need to catch up more often!’ and then forgot, or just not had time? If you’re lucky, your friends understand this, as they’re busy too, and when you do catch up, it’s just as comfortable as if you’d seen them yesterday. However, sometimes time gets away from us and it’s been far too long since we saw or spoke to one of our old friends.
What better time than on International Friendship Day to reconnect? Reach out to your friend and tell them how much you miss them, and how much they mean to you. It could be a phone call, an email, or even just a quick text. Or, you could show them how special they are by sending them a card or a letter in the mail; snail mail is rare these days due to the rise of social media and texting, so it would be guaranteed to put a smile on their face.
Repair a broken friendship
Unfortunately, in life, arguments happen and sometimes friendships end. Some of these endings are blessings in disguise, and you’re much better off without your ex-friend in your life. However, sometimes you’ll regret the fight and want to make up with your friend, but might not know how to do so.
Though not strictly a ‘celebration’, a good idea for International Friendship Day is taking that first step in repairing your broken friendship. Reach out to the other person, and express your desire to fixing things between you. Ask them to meet up for a coffee (somewhere neutral and public where an argument is unlikely to break out!) so that you can talk things through. Try to stay open minded to what they have to say, and avoid blaming each other; you don’t want to make things worse, but understand each other’s viewpoint better and, if possible, resolve the issues.
Practice random acts of kindness
Use the special day of friendship as an opportunity to do something nice for your loved ones. It could be anything from buying them a gift, to treating them to lunch, or even simply popping round for a quick chat.
Do you have a friend who’s going through a particularly tough time? Maybe they’re dealing with a breakup, or are struggling with work? Take some time today to show them how amazing you think they are, and how much they mean to you. Take them some flowers or their favourite sweet treat, and talk to them about what they’re going through; it doesn’t take much effort on your part, but they will really appreciate it.
Make a new friend
There’s no such thing as too many friends, so why not go out and make one more friend to celebrate the International Day of Friendship? This may seem like a daunting task, but it’s not impossible!
It could be a colleague that you have always wanted to get to know better; ask them to go out for lunch, and enjoy the quality time. Or maybe there’s a friend of a friend you’re curious about; ask your friend to arrange a get-together so you can get to know them. Most people are naturally friendly and sociable, and will be flattered that you enjoy their company and want to be their friend.