Friendship Day 4th August 2013
Friendship Day was first established in 1935 when the United States Congress dedicated the first Sunday of August every year as Friendship Day, and this year it takes place on 4 August.
Following the popularity of this annual event in the US, a large number of other countries, including India have also adopted Friendship Day to celebrate the importance of friends, making this a truly international friendship day.
On this day people spend time together, exchange gifts, cards and wristbands to proclaim their friendship to each other. In 1997, the United Nations named Winnie the Pooh as the world's Ambassador of Friendship.
There is no doubt that we are all better off for friends. Friends are the ones who help us through the bad times and celebrate the good times with us, who pick us up when we stumble and even in some cases donate their kidneys to us! I remember the story of two young girls who had grown up together and been best friends since they could remember. When one of them fell ill and went into kidney failure, her friend did no hesitate and put herself forward as a donor. Doctors were amazed to find that the pair were a perfect match despite not being related at all.
And there are other stories of how great a bond friendship can be - the surrogate who carried a child for her friend, the man who worked 20 hours a day to keep his friends business going while he was ill or the couples who took their friends in when their house was brunt down and let them stay for year until they could move back into their own home. There are hundreds of wonderful examples of what true friendship can bring to the lives of those who are lucky enough to find it.
Friendship is as important to us as good health too; in fact studies have proved that having good friends and family can make a world of difference if we get ill. And as we get older those friends come into their own as they offer us support when a life long partner dies. There are hundreds of reasons to celebrate friendship and the richness it brings to our lives. So ... what will you be doing this year ... how will you celebrate?
Lots of ideas about how you can get involved can be found at the Friendship Day website.
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