National Friendship Day occurs every year on the first Sunday of August. This year it will be celebrated on August 2, 2020. It celebrates the importance of platonic relationships and how it shapes us as people.

Friendships could be the purest form of human relationships, friends being considered the family you choose since they’re not strung together by bonds of blood, but one of love. Friendship Day is celebrated around the world where friends usually tie a friendship band on each other’s wrists and promise to be BFFs (Best Friends Forever).

Friendship Day was first proposed in Paraguay in 1958 as International Friendship Day and this year it was celebrated on July 30. The day is known to have first originated from Hallmark cards, by Joyce Hall, in 1930. The United Nations declared July 30 as the official International Friendship Day. In India, the day is marked on the first Sunday of August.

In 1998, Nane Annan, wife of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, declared the lovable Disney character Winnie the Pooh as the global Ambassador of Friendship at the UN.


National Friendship Day emerged as a marketing strategy for Hallmark Cards in the 1930s. Joyce Hall, the founder, designated the day as one to celebrate the people closest to you, who matter to you the most, and in the process, send them a card to show them you’re thinking about them. The marketing strategy shaped an official holiday, announced by the US Congress in 1935, to be celebrated on the first Sunday of August every year.

In 1998, the United Nations named the honey-loving tubby bear Winnie the Pooh as the world’s Ambassador of Friendship. In 2011, at the UN’s 65th session, July 30 was designated as International Friendship Day.

With the advancement in technology, it’s become a lot easier to stay in touch and reach out through the several social media accounts but meeting in person has a charm that will never grow old.

Understanding friendships through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, proposed by Abraham Maslow in A Theory of Human Motivation, a 1943 paper he wrote in Psychological Review, talks about belonging and love as a core human need. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is used to understand human behaviour and motivation. He used terms such as ‘physiological’, ‘safety’, ‘belonging and love’, ‘social needs’ and ‘self-actualisation’ to describe a pattern in which human motivations usually move, depicted via a pyramid diagram.

Social belonging and the need for interpersonal relationships make the third level of human needs as per the theory. According to Maslow, humans possess an effective need for a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups, regardless of whether these groups are large or small. Humans need to love and be loved, both sexually and non-sexually, by others in order to stay motivated and perform their duties.

The absence of this element may hamper basic functioning, in turn making people susceptible to loneliness, anxiety, and even, depression. This need for feel a sense of belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs, while for some individuals, the need for self-esteem/self-actualisation is more important than the need for belonging, and for some the need for feeling fulfilled creatively may supersede even the most basic needs.

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