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, flowers 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.
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.