"No man is an island." People are social creatures, we like being around people, and we like making friends. We like them so much, we even have a day devoted to celebrating all of the friendships that give us those warm, fuzzy feelings.
Friendship day is celebrated every year on the first Sunday in August, which means 2011 will celebrate on August 7th. This day encourages international understanding, respect for diversity, and a culture of peace between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals. It asks people all over the world to take time out of their ever-busy schedules and make new friends while thanking your old ones for the huge roles they play in your life.
The first Sunday of August was declared as a holiday in the United States in honor of friends, by Congress in 1935. Since then, Friendship Day has been celebrated by countries around the world to promote international friendships and understanding.
Countries like India celebrate by meeting with friends, sharing a meal and exchanging cards, flowers and sentimental tokens of friendship. The day is celebrated in schools and colleges across India the same way Valentine's Day is celebrated in America.
Children make Friendship Day cards to exchange along with friendship bracelets and other gifts, and friends often compete to see who has the most bands or cards. Some colleges also hold dances or festivals to celebrate with friends.
Paraguay also holds a Friendship Day festival or parade, complete with dancers, floats and live entertainment.
You can join Winnie the Pooh- the world's Ambassador of Friendship- in this noble celebration honoring the influences of friends and the people who have shaped your life. Here are some tips and ideas to celebrating a memorable and meaningful Friendship Day:
-Throw a Friendship Day Party- The point of the day is to celebrate your closest friends, so why not have them all in one room? Include friendship quotes, cartoons or jokes in the party invites.
-Design a menu around all of your friend's favorite foods, or ask friends to bring their favorite recipe to share with the group.
-Keep a camera handy to snap pictures of the party to enjoy for years to come.
-Create games to test just how well you know each other, like a friendship trivial pursuit or jeopardy with questions based on your friends.
-Make a CD or playlist of friend-centric songs to play in the background.
-Take a trip somewhere special- visit a museum full of your favorite artists, grab lunch at a favorite café, hike up a nearby trail, go to a spa, have a picnic or see an old movie together. Choose something significant that will remind you of fond memories or create new ones.
-Create a scrapbook- Make a collection of memories of you and your friends to give as a gift or save as a keepsake. Invite your friends to include pictures of past trips, birthdays, parties and get-togethers to make it even more special.
- See Winnie the Pooh- If you have kids (or even if you don't) take them to see the world's Ambassador of Friendship and his friends in his latest movie. The movie has a great universal message for kids on the importance of friendships and helping a friend in need (which could be a good reminder for adults who have forgotten).
- Call an old friend- or send a card or flowers; check up on a friend who has moved away, you have lost touch with or someone you don't get to see that often. Make an effort to stay in each others lives and stay connected. Today is also a great day to let go of grudges or forgive past frights in the spirit of friendship.
- Make friendship bracelets- or if you want something a bit fancier, visit a jewelry store to engrave their name, a quote or other sentiment into jewelry they will have forever.
- Find your favorite friendship quotes to share.
However your observe the day, make an effort to let friends know how important they are to you. But today is not the only day to celebrate friends. Besides appreciating your pals every day, here are some other recognized days of friendship:
National Friendship Day is on the first Sunday in August.
Women's Friendship Day is on the third Sunday in August
International Friendship Month is February
Old Friends, New Friends Week is the third week of May
To get more ideas for Friendship Day activities or events, or to read more about this day, visit http://www.friendshipday.org/