According to the American Survey Center, almost 70% of Americans have at least one friend they’ve had since childhood. When you think about it, that’s pretty amazing. That’s a friend who’s been there for you through so many of life’s biggest ups and downs.

How do you celebrate your friendships? Do you have specific times you get together? If you don’t live near each other, do you plan ways to spend time with each other?

Did you know that the first Sunday of August is officially National Friendship Day? Even if you are grateful for your friends all 365 days of the year, this holiday is the perfect time to make sure your friends know just how much they mean to you.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of National Friendship Day, settle down to learn all about the history of this holiday and get some great ideas for celebrating.

The history of friendship

The idea of friendship has been around for thousands of years. Greek and Roman philosophers shared ideas about what friendship means. The Greek word philia is translated as love between friends.

Friends are the family we make for ourselves. We can’t choose the family we’re born into, but we can choose our friends, searching for people we share a true kinship with.

Aristotle claimed that there are three types of friendship. Friendship for the sake of benefit, friendship for mutual pleasure, and friendship founded on shared values.

This last can be hard to find, but so precious when discovered. It is a joyous occasion when we find someone who shares our views or a common interest. Someone we can truly be ourselves around.

The best friends are there through thick and thin and provide support and comfort. And, if you’re really lucky, they’ll make you laugh, even when times are tough.

Is it any wonder that people wanted to find a way to celebrate friendship?

The history of National Friendship Day

The idea of a Friendship Day was first conceived by Hallmark Cards. The original intention was that this was a day to send cards to all your friends, letting them know you appreciate them.

The American people saw this as a gimmick, though, and the idea fell out of favor until the mid-1930s. In 1935, Congress declared the 1st Sunday of August as National Friendship Day.

The idea of a day to celebrate our friends is not just an American one. Friendship Day is celebrated all over the world. It is an especially big event in India, Asia, and parts of South America.

In 1998, Winnie the Pooh got in on the Friendship Day action. Nane Annan—wife of then-UN Secretary-General Kafi Annan—declared Winnie the Pooh the official Ambassador of Friendship. After all, Winnie, created by A.A. Milne, has many great friends, including Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. 

The age of social media has made celebrating friends a popular activity. It’s fun to post pictures of you and your buddies on Instagram or tag your friends and yourself at events on Facebook. Letting your friends know you’re thinking about them has never been quicker or easier.

How your brand can promote National Friendship Day

Of course, we celebrate our friends year-round. National Friendship Day, however, offers a specific opportunity to take time out to appreciate those who are there for us when it counts. Think about your target audience and let your creativity flow.

Run a friendship contest

Whether your business is makeup, phones, or clothes, encourage your customers to celebrate their friends by taking part in a contest. The prize can be for your customer’s friend or for the friends to share together.

Four years ago, Avon India ran a contest asking customers to share why their friends deserved a matte lipstick. The winners won lipstick for their friends. In this win-win, Avon got to promote one of their products and their customers won a gift for a treasured friend.

Draw customers to Your Location

Is your business a place that friends naturally go to with each other? Perhaps you own a restaurant, a place of entertainment, or a store friends browse together. Offer specials that friends can share.

What better way to say “Happy Friendship” than with a two-for-one coupon or a percentage off when you come in with friends? Consider furthering the celebration with an in-house special event on the actual day.

Social media promotions

Don’t forget to leverage your social media accounts. If you’re running a special event for National Friendship Day, be sure to promote it across all of your accounts.

Encourage your followers to take part in an online celebration. Ask them to post memories of times spent with their friends or photos taken with friends featuring your products or at your business. You might even ask your followers to make a video for TikTok.

Frequently Asked Questions

Day in and day out, our friends are there for us. National Friendship Day offers the opportunity to make sure all friends are honored and know how much they are needed.

When is National Friendship Day?

National Friendship Day is observed each year on the 1st Sunday in August. The weekend is a great time to hang out with friends and make new memories.

What day is National Friendship Day?

National Friendship Day is the 1st Sunday in August, so the date changes every year. In 2022, this holiday falls on August 7. International Friendship Day will be the weekend before, on July 30.

What is National Friendship Day?

National Friendship Day is a day to celebrate the friends who make our lives better. It’s a chance to recognize friends near and far. People celebrate by taking the time to touch base with their friends and spend time with them.

Celebrate friends with all of your followers

There’s a good chance your followers love to hang out with their friends. They may not be aware that National Friendship Day exists, giving them an extra opportunity to celebrate their chosen family. By offering a way to help your customers celebrate, you can build on your brand’s awareness and grow your audience.

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