This July 20th, Friend’s Day, will not be like other years since in many parts of the world different distancing measures are still in force to face the COVID-19 pandemic. However, friendship never ceases to be celebrated, because it can be a situation – or perhaps thanks to it – that reveals itself as one of the most powerful bonds that can unite people. In this note, we tell you a little more about this date that has Argentine origin.
The inspiration of the arrival to the Moon
It was 1969, and the entire planet was awaiting a unique event in history: the first human crew arrived and landed on the moon. This memorable event was followed live on televisions around the world. In houses, families, and friends gathered to see how the crew of the Apollo 11 mission, Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin, and Michael Collins, disembarked on our satellite, achieving a feat that, until then, had been imagined in works of science-fiction.
Inspired by this feeling that twinned all Humanity, the Argentine dentist, musician, and writer Enrique Febbraro conceived the idea of a universal friendship that transcended even planetary limits. For this reason, he dedicated himself to writing 1,000 letters to people from different countries, proposing that July 20th be considered the day of friendship. Among his arguments, he affirmed that «a people of friends would be an unbeatable nation», in a clear pacifist message that responds to the violence and wars that afflicted the world in those years, specifically the Vietnam War and the struggles to conquer rights of many oppressed groups.
Febbraro’s idea «caught on» in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Spain, where Friend’s Day is celebrated every July 20. In other parts of the world friendship is also recognized, although on different dates. The United Nations Organization proposed July 30 as International Friendship Day, while in Bolivia it is July 23 and in Peru, the first Saturday of that month. On the other hand, in Colombia it is the second Saturday of March, while in several Anglo-Saxon countries such as the United States, Canada and Great Britain it is the first Sunday of August, the same as in some Asian nations such as India, Malaysia and Indonesia. Beyond the difference in dates, one thing is clear: friendship is universal.
Febbraro’s idea «caught on» in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile, and Spain, where Friend’s Day is celebrated every July 20th. In other parts of the world, friendship is also recognized, although on different dates. The United Nations Organization proposed July 30th as International Friendship Day, while in Bolivia it is July 23th and in Peru, the first Saturday of that month. On the other hand, in Colombia, it is the second Saturday of March, while in several Anglo-Saxon countries such as the United States, Canada, and Great Britain it is the first Sunday of August, the same as in some Asian nations such as India, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Beyond the difference in dates, one thing is clear: friendship is universal.
A special feeling
Friendship is a deeply human bond. Since we are little we tend to make friends easily, and this way of relating accompanies us throughout our lives. Friendships support us, teach us and help us in the difficult moments of life; and they also amuse us, accompany us and expand our horizons in the brightest moments.
Having involved friends maintains disinterested relationships of love, respect for differences, and celebration of both great achievements and everyday things. Anecdotes and experiences shared with friends are one of our most precious treasures, determined, to a large extent, who we are and how our passing through this life is. That is why, in difficult times like these we are experiencing now, the importance of friendships becomes more evident than ever; even at a distance, their company is invaluable in continuing to build a better future. Tell us what friendship is for you and some unforgettable anecdotes that you have lived with your friends.
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Gracias a Lucio Maciá por la nota, Araceli Sabransky por la ilustración, Cecilia Musis por la traducción y Christian Trappani por la organización.