Sunday, August 1, 2010

About Friendship Day

International Friendship Day:

International Friendship Day celebrations take place on the first Sunday of August. The spread and origin of this holiday are not yet well documented. Evidence from social networking sites indicates the holiday may have grown with the spread of the Internet, and is known in India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia. There is also some evidence that the day is celebrated in some South American countries. Digital communication modes such as the Internet and mobile phones may be helping to popularize the custom, since greeting friends en masse is now easier than before.

Those who promote the holiday in South Asia attribute the tradition of dedicating a day in honor of friends to have originated in the U.S. in 1935, but no suitable documentation of this has yet been found. Best friends day is celebrated on June 8th and is a different holiday.[citation needed] According to an Indian website, on this day people spend time with their friends and express love for them. The exchange of Friendship Day Gifts like flowers, cards and wrist bands is a popular tradition of this occasion.[1][2] This year, Friendship Day will be celebrated on August 1st 2010.

According to an Indian website, the United States Congress, proclaimed the first Sunday of August as National Friendship Day.[3] However, verficiation is thus far lacking.

Following the popularity and success of Friendship Day in US, several other countries adopted the tradition of dedicating a day to friends. Today, Friendship Day is enthusiastically celebrated by several countries across the world.[3]

In honor of Friendship Day in 1998, Nane Annan, wife of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, named Winnie the Pooh as the world's Ambassador of Friendship at the United Nations. The event was co-sponsored by the U.N. Department of Public Information and Disney Enterprises, and was co-hosted by Kathy Lee Gifford.[4] [5]

Many friends wish each other with exchange of gifts and cards on this day. Friendship bands are very popular in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and parts of South America.[1] With the advent of social networking sites, friendship day is also being celebrated online.[2] The commercialization of the Friendship Day celebrations has led to some dismissing it as a "marketing gimmick".[6]
Other traditions
Día del Amigo (Spanish: "Friend's Day"), a celebration of friendship, held annually on 20 July mainly in Argentina and Uruguay, but also in some other countries.
Dia do Amigo (Portuguese: "Friend's Day"), celebration happens on 18 April because on 20 July, they celebrate International Friendship Day. (Portuguese)

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