International Day of Friendship 2020 - Important Date, History, Facts & Friendship Quotes

On 30 July 2020, International Friendship Day is observed by the United Nations and its Member States with an aim to promote the role that friendship plays in promoting peace in many cultures. Get more information about the History of International Day of Friendship, Facts & Quotes about Friendship day from this article. 

Sheena | Updated Jul 30, 2020 16:17 PM

International Day of Friendship 2020 - Important Date, History, Facts & Friendship Quotes

International Day of Friendship 2020

International Day of Friendship is celebrated on 30 July. International Friendship Day is a day for celebration to mark friendships from all over the globe, near or far. International Day of Friendship and connecting are synonymous with bonding with one another and sometimes building this bond can go beyond sharing characteristics, traits, or having a cup of coffee with your favorite person or group but which also includes promoting a global commitment and understanding of kindness and humanity. 

Friends are always around to lighten the mood when tensions are high, or when we have to rant about the misgivings of our life as an emotional sounding board. One can count on one's friends anytime, no matter what. And the greatest privilege in life is for someone else to be the same. Even in our differences, we can find common grounds but that can certainly never be a reason to separate people. International Friendship Day is celebrated on July 30th of 2020.

How did International Day of Friendship come into existence?

National Friendship Day was originally founded by Joyce Hall, founder of Hallmark in 1930. It was intended to be a day for people to celebrate their friendship. However, by 1940, it died out completely. Somehow the commercials of friendship day have led to dismissive content which was used as a marketing gimmick. Although the exact reason for the celebration of friendship is still unknown, the need for it was felt after the disastrous effects of the First World War. 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 friendships.

The tradition came about when the US congress decided to dedicate a day for friendship, which was followed by the proposal initiated by UNESCO and taken up by the UN General Assembly in 1997. Then in 1998 Nane Annan, wife of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan ‘Winnie the Pooh’ was named the world's ambassador of friendship at the United Nations. In 2011, the United Nations officially recognized 30th July as International Friendship Day, though some countries celebrate it on the first Sunday of August including India. It was decided to forge a strong bond of friendship among people around the world, irrespective of race, religion, color, gender, and ethnicity.

What are the reason behind International Day of Friendship? 

The International Day of Friendship is also celebrated to recognize meaningful friendship as a priceless possession in our lives. The International Day of Friendship was proclaimed with the objective that friendship between people, country, families can transpire and build relations across the world, few of the objectives given by UN for International Day of Friendship are :

  • to foster education 

  • to promote sustainable economic and social development

  • respect for human rights

  • to ensure equal rights for all

  • to attain international peace and security

  • advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity

How is the International Day of Friendship observed?

It is a beautiful day to celebrate the beautiful bond of friendship not connected by blood, but by a beautiful heart. The day is celebrated by exchanging gifts, planning a day out to celebrate their friendship, and also ties friendship bands around each other’s wrists. A day when friends come together, reminiscing their friendship journey. Some popular customs on how this day is observed are:

  • Sending bouquets of flowers especially pink and yellow.

  • Throwing parties, with lip-smacking dishes and drinks.

  • Sending greeting cards or gifts.

  • Tying friendship bands or bracelets around each other’s wrists, to mark their friendship.

  • Friendship Poems to express their gratitude and love towards one another.

  • Flooding social media with old and embarrassing photos fuelling the sense of nostalgia and cherishing the good and bad times gone through.

Facts about International Friendship Day

  • While July 30 is celebrated as International Friendship Day, there are some countries that chose to celebrate it a little earlier or extended like India, Bangladesh, South America, Malaysia, UAE, etc. 

  • Celebrating friendship started with hallmark, when hallmark introduced greeting cards back in 1930, the idea of reaching out to someone to let them know that they crossed your mind.

  • Becoming a better friend, reflecting upon the critical growth, and standing up for your friend is important. This is a great time to step back and reflect on those friends that already exist in your life.

  • Women's friendship day is celebrated on the third Sunday of September.

  • In the famous Hindu epic, Mahabharata Lord Krishna demonstrates the many colors of friendship, affection, gratitude, protection, and intimacy.

  • The Bible reflects upon friendship as the bond that forms the foundation to human faith, trust, and companionship. 

Quotes about International Friendship Day

I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the night – Helen Keller

If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together... There is something that you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think but the most important thing is, even if we’re apart … I’ll always be with you - Winnie the Pooh.

Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation. – Oscar Wilde.

But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine. – Thomas Jefferson.

She is a friend of my mind. She gathered me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me all in the right order – Toni Morrison

Experts on romance say for a happy marriage there has to be more than a passionate love. For a lasting union, they insist there must be a genuine liking for each other. Which in my book is a good definition for friendship. – Marilyn Monroe

If you’re ever lucky enough to find a weirdo, never let them go – Anonymous

A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out - Walter Winchell

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International Friendship Day - FAQ

1. When is friendship day celebrated in India?

In India, and a few other countries, friendship day is observed on the first Sunday of August while the rest of the world celebrates it on the 30th of July.

2. How to celebrate friendship day during the pandemic?

There are many online shopping apps and websites which can help you in sending packages to your best friends around the globe or a social media post on how grateful you are about your friends.

3. Why was Winnie the Pooh chosen as the ambassador of friendship?

Even though Pooh is described as a ‘bear of little brain’ he has a big heart. To pooh, friendship means not just sharing or caring with friends but also accepting the new ones with an open heart. Pooh teaches us important lessons of friendship. Winnie has been acknowledged as an Ambassador of Friendship, he even led the friendship day celebration in Disneyland.