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Old 02-08-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
History of Friendship Day
usman_latif_ch usman_latif_ch is offline 02-08-2009, 04:52 PM
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The tradition of celebrating Friendship Day began in

1935 when the US Congress decided to dedicate a day

in the honor of friends.



Though it is not known exactly what were the

reasons that went into the making of this day,

the retrospection of the world scenario of those times

can lead us to an understanding.



With the devastating effects of the First World War

still showing and increasing hostilities, mistrust and

hatred between countries providing the perfect conditions

for another imminent battle, there was a greater need

for friendship and camaraderie not only among nations

but also among individuals.

Hence, the US Congress decided to designate the

first Sunday of the month of August as Friendship Day

and with a formal proclamation in 1935, officially

declared the occasion a holiday dedicated in the honour

of friends and friendship.

Since then, celebration of National Friendship Day

became an annual event. The lofty idea of honoring

the beautiful relationship of friendship caught on

with the people, particularly the youngsters all over

the country, and in no time Friendship Day became

a highly popular festival.

But the success of this wonderful occasion was not

to be limited to the US alone.

With time, several other countries followed suit

in adopting the tradition of dedicating a day to the

cause of friendship.

The beautiful idea of having a day in the honor of

friends was joyously taken over by several other countries

across the world.

With more and more nations joining in

the celebrations, Friendship Day soon became

International Friendship Day.

Today, Friendship Day is enthusiastically celebrated

every year by many countries.

The occasion is observed on the first Sunday

of every August.

The traditional celebrations include meeting with

friends and exchanging of cards, flower and gifts

Many social and cultural organizations also celebrate Friendship Day by hosting programs and

get togethers.

Special performances by rock bands are also organized

in countries like the US to enhance the jubilations.

In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie - the Pooh,

the famous cartoon character as the world's Ambassador

of Friendship.

It is interesting to note how some associations observe

Friendship Day with different customs, by giving the

festival different names and holding it in times unlike

that of the actual festival.
For example, National Friendship Day is held on the

first Sunday in August; Women's Friendship Day is on the

third Sunday in August; the third week of May is the

old friends, New Friends Week and the whole of February

is designated as the International Friendship Month.

These days, Friendship Day is celebrated with a lot of

fanfare and great expenses. Just as in US and several

other countries, the festival has been greatly

commercialized.

Days before the festival, card and gift companies

launch an extensive campaign to lure people into buying

cards and gift items for their friends.

Companies indulge in aggressive marketing to target

youngsters, the main celebrators of festivals as these,

and entice them into purchasing expensive articles for

their pals. Restaurateurs too offer special discounts to

make the most of the time.

This marketing strategy has been severely criticized

by many people and is a subject of debate every year.

Many feel that such rampant commercialization has

marred the very concept of Friendship Day and has

turned it into a mere formality.

Many on the other hand think that greater hype and

hoopla around the occasion has helped to generate

awareness about Friendship Day festival which was

till recently a low-key affair (compared to occasions as

"Mother's day" and "Father's Day")

and thus promote friendship and brotherhood.

The popular customs of Friendship Day includes handing

over roses, especially the pink and yellow ones.

The day is observed with great exhilaration and merriment,

with friends throwing parties, gorging on lip-smacking

dishes and drinking hard (be it at home or at restaurants

that offer special discounts for this occasion).

A highly popular thing associated with the day is the

well-known Friendship Band - the modern day token

of friendship that friends gift to one another to form

an everlasting bond.

Friendship bands are favorite items for youngsters

and are available in stores all over the country.

Girls go in for friendship bracelets instead of the

conventional friendship wristbands.

Friendship Poems and Friendship Day Gifts are

exchanged between best friends to renew the bond

of friendship and express gratitude and

love for each other.

These are new ways of celebration of this day that the

GenX has invented.

Since its inception in 1935, Friendship Day and

Friendship Day celebrations have come a long way.

But however much the ways of celebration have changed,

the basic idea behind the occasion remains the same.

Friendship Day remains the time when you acknowledge

your friends' contribution in your life, express love

for them, cherish their presence in your life and

pay them a tribute.

Today, Friendship Day is being celebrated around

the globe, across diverse cultures and social segments.
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