Tomorrow, August 7, 2016, the world celebrates the Friendship Day, to show those we considered our friends that we appreciate them and trust them. And as the date comes closer internet offers us millions of quotes, images, gift ideas and articles to celebrate alongside our closest ones.

Certainly, there isn’t a unique definition of what friendship is. However, the first Sunday of August was indeed chosen as the day of the year to show the ones we regard as our friends that we appreciate them.  Because everybody has a special friend to celebrate it with.

Tomorrow, August 7, 2016, the world celebrates the Friendship Day. Photo credit: Santa Banta
Tomorrow, August 7, 2016, the world celebrates the Friendship Day. Photo credit: Santa Banta

The History of International Friendship day

The idea of having a day to celebrate friendship was firstly promoted by greeting card National Association during the 1920s; however, it was a too obvious attempt to promote greeting card sells. In the 40s Friendship Day cards availability decreased and the holiday was diminished in importance. Though in Asia, the holiday was notably more celebrated than in America.

In 1998, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Wife to celebrate the friendship day named Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship. It was on July 27, 2011 – at the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly – that it was declared the 30 July as the “International Day of Friendship”; however, it is more popular to celebrate it the first Sunday of August.

The social networking has revitalized the interest in the holiday all over the world using Facebook, Instagram, and thousands of web pages to spread the friendship messages. Currently, it has particular importance in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia and South America, especially in Paraguay.

Why do we need to celebrate friendship?

Some people say that International Friendship Day should be just like another day of the year since we don’t need a specific date to show people that we care about them offering gifts and messages. We can celebrate friendship day every day if we want to. While others love celebrating this day with the ones who stick through the thick and thin, using it as an excuse to gather together to chat, eat and drink or to give away friendship bracelets and other gifts.

Indeed, celebrated or not, friends play a major role in everyone’s daily day. But what is also true is that there isn’t a sole and unified definition of what a friend is. Additionally, there isn’t just one type of friend. Studies show that people have a need to feel their friendships relations are mutual.

“People don’t like to hear that the people they think of as friends don’t name them as friends,” said Alex Pentland, a computational social science researcher at M.I.T. who recently published a research named “Are You Your Friends’ Friend?”

The expectation of reciprocity is 94 percent while the feelings of friendship are mutual only 53 percent of the times, according to his research. Apparently, we need to feel we have friends and that they esteem us as friends too since it has a significant impact on our self-esteem and health. Maybe that is why we continue to celebrate this day, but that the physiological studies don’t stop us from celebrating with our friends.

Source: The New York Times