International Day of Friendship

International Day of Friendship - Tuesday, July 30, 2024

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International Day of Friendship was designated by the United Nations General Assembly (UN). On July 30, we step back and get thankful for those relationships worldwide, as they promote and encourage peace, happiness, and unity. The UN encourages governments, community groups, and other organizations to coordinate activities and events that celebrate those friendships that we keep close to us. Many events focus on reconciliation, bridging understanding and consensus, and finding comfort in those that feel like home.

The International Day of Friendship is a day to promote the role that friendship plays across all cultures. To mark this special day, the UN encourages community groups, organizations, and governments to hold initiatives, activities, and events that promote reconciliation, mutual understanding, and solidarity. 

History Of The International Day Of Friendship

We live in a complicated world today. Between cultural discord, discrimination, lack of trust, mistreatment, and miscommunications, it seems that prioritizing peace is something that has less of a presence in society around the world today. Because of this, the United Nations has decided to remind everyone about all of the great and the good in the world. They did this by bringing the International Day of Friendship to our attention in 2011. This special day goes beyond connecting people, building bridges amongst ideologies, countries, and cultures. 

Connecting and friendship are synonymous with bonding. Building those common bonds goes beyond sharing a favorite past time, characteristic, or trait with another person or group. It also includes understanding inclusion and diversity, as well as promoting a worldwide commitment. Music, tastes, political views, differences of opinions, and physical appearances are not reasons for people to be separated. The International Day of Friendship is all about promoting togetherness and kindness, bringing people together. 

Why Friendship Matters

There may be times when you think that you don’t need friendship! Maybe someone has let you down or you want some alone time. However, friendship matters! It benefits our lives in so many different ways. So, let’s take a look at the reasons why friendship is important…

  • Achieve your goals – A strong social circle can help you to achieve your goals, whether you are trying to nab a promotion at work or you want to shed a few pounds. If you have supportive friends with similar goals, it can help you to get to where you want to be. 
  • Enhances emotional resilience – Sharing good times with people you love and having a network of friends to help you through those bad times makes it easier for you to navigate the ups and downs that life inevitably throws at us.
  • Boost your brainpower – The University of Michigan has found that hanging out with other people – even just for ten minutes – will improve your ability to solve problems and your brainpower. 
  • Get a better night’s sleep – Did you know that friendship even helps improve your ZZZs? That’s right; we have the University of Chicago to thank for this study. They found that people are more restless in bed if they don’t socialize. 
  • Friendship makes you healthier – Last but not least, friendship is good for your health! A story carried out at the University of North Carolina actually found that people without strong connections have higher abdominal obesity rates and blood pressure.

Some Of Our Favorite Friendship Quotes

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.

John Katz

A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.

William Shakespeare

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.

Muhammad Ali

How To Celebrate International Day Of Friendship

There are a number of different ways that you can celebrate the International Day of Friendship. We recommend reaching out to your friends and doing something that is going to put a smile on their face. This could be anything from enjoying a coffee together to simply sending a text message to someone that you have not spoken to in a while. Spend the day doing nice things for people, putting a smile on their faces. 

Another way to celebrate the International Day of Friendship is to make new friends! There are so many different ways that you can make new connections today. Thanks to the Internet, it is easier than ever before to connect with like-minded people. You can join forums or websites where you can chat with people. Of course, we need to stress the importance of being cautious and protecting yourself when you speak to people online. Or, why not go to a local community event and make an effort to speak to people?

We would definitely recommend looking into attending a community cultural celebration if possible. If there is a community center that you have been meaning to check in your local area but have not had the chance to do so, now is a perfect time! Check the schedule to find out about any events that are being hosted here. You can meet some new people and learn about different lifestyles and cultures that you may not have heard much about before. 

Or, why not invite your friends around and cook a nice meal for them? There is nothing better than enjoying good food and a drink with friends, right? Going out of your way to cook a nice meal for the people close to you is something that your friends are assured to appreciate. If your friends don’t live nearby, why not send them a greeting card, thanking them for their friendship and letting them know that you are thinking about them?

History of International Day of Friendship

We live in a tough world. Between miscommunications, mistreatment, lack of trust, discrimination, and cultural discord, prioritizing peace seemingly has less of presence in global society. There really is no reason for the world not to exist in some harmonious form. We have the United Nations to thank for helping to remind us all that there is some good in this world. We were first introduced to International Day of Friendship in 2011; this special day goes beyond connecting people and builds bridges among cultures, countries, and even ideologies. 

Friendship and connecting is synonymous with bonding, and building those common bonds goes beyond sharing a trait, characteristic, or favorite past time with another person or group, but also includes promoting a global commitment and understanding of diversity and inclusion. Even in our differences we can find common ground. Physical appearances, differences of opinions, political views, tastes, music and more are not reasons to separate people. Relationships are bigger than that, and the UN works to promote kindness and togetherness every July. 

Celebrating friendships through something as simple as a brief note, to a coffee hang out, a concert or a trip to the mall are all ways to find commonalities. Again, do have more in common that we all realize. And, any idea that minimizes the amount spread hatred and disdain is the kind of world we want shared. We’d like to think that something we all have in common.   

Before the UN made its designation, the very first World Friendship Day was proposed in 1958 by the World Friendship Crusade, which is an international civil organization that campaigns to foster peaceful culture through friendship.

International Day of Friendship timeline


The beginning

The UN introduces the world to the International Day of Friendship, encouraging communities around the world to observe and honor the day.


Ahead of the curve

Paraguay was the first country to celebrate this day country-wide in July of 1958.


Hallmark greeting

Greeting cards were introduced by Hallmark, and took center stage. To this day, many acknowledge their special relationships with a card or note.


Friendship in the works

Some suggest that there are roots to the United States’ official participation in an unofficial Friendship Day even before the UN’s official designation.

International Day of Friendship FAQs

Are there formal ways to observe or participate in International Day of Friendship?

It can be celebrated anywhere you are and however you choose to get involved. Just keep in mind the core principles of the day and celebrate away!

How can I make new friends on this day?

Try heading out to an event and allowing people to witness you being your authentic self. You might even be able to make a new connection through someone you already know.

Can I participate in International Day of Friendship in other countries?

Absolutely, technology is a great way to connect with other friends or cultural activities in other international communities!  Do your research to find an activity that interests you, and connect away.

5 Facts About The International Day Of Friendship That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Celebrating friendship started with Hallmark

    When Hallmark introduced greeting cards to us in the 1930s, the idea of reaching out to someone to let them know that they crossed your mind or were worthy of a quick “hello” through the mail soon followed.

  2. Being a better friend

    Reflections are critical for growth, and growing a community that reflects who you want to be is so important — this is a great time to step back and reflect on those connections that already exist in your life.

  3. New friends

    All friendships start with a conversation — this is the perfect day to reconnect with old friends or open yourself to new connections.

  4. Some countries have earlier celebrations

    While July 30 is the day designated by the UN, there are some countries that choose to have earlier, extended celebrations in July, August, and/or April, such as: South America, Bangladesh, India, and Malaysia.

  5. Anyone can celebrate

    Learning to dispel hatred and be accepting of people with different backgrounds early is a great way to teach kids how to be accepting of others, be open to learning new things, and appreciating, as well as spreading, kindness is a great trait to instill early.

International Day of Friendship Activities

  1. Meet a friend for lunch, dinner, or happy hour

    Have friends you haven’t seen in a while? Or, perhaps some with whom you only do the same activities over and again. Why not change things up and plan a casual outing with friends for International Day of Friendship, to make new memories and share a few laughs.

  2. Attend a community cultural celebration

    Is there a community center near you that you’ve been meaning to check out but haven’t yet had the opportunity to do so? This is the perfect opportunity to be able to check out the schedule and attend any events hosted there, meet some new people, and learn about new cultures or lifestyles that already exist within blocks of your front door.

  3. Send a greeting card

    Hallmark introduced us to the concept of celebrating friendship, so why not send a note to a few of your friends on International Friendship Day to let them know how important they are to you?

Why We Love International Day of Friendship

  1. It’s a day committed to diversity, inclusion, and appreciation

    Inclusivity is a huge part of the day. International Day of Friendship aims to include any and all, and embrace others that may appear different than us.

  2. We get to spend time with the ones we love

    Take this moment to be spontaneous with a kind note, or perhaps even heading out to lunch with friends to touch base as a way to celebrate. Most of us connect with people day in and day out, and we cannot think of a better way to commune than to be around those you see most often as a means to observe this day.

  3. There are both big and small ways to celebrate your friendships

    Beyond sending cards, you can give flowers or merely spend time with someone important to you. Time is all we have, and once it’s gone we never get it back.

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