International Day of Friendship

International Day of Friendship

July 30 is the United Nations International Day of Friendship. Read about the importance of friendship and find out why the UN decided to give it a special day.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.


The importance of friends

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. They may be someone we met as a child, a classmate at school, someone we met at work or through other friends. They may be friends who live at a distance in another country or virtual friends we've made online. Whoever they are, however we met them, there is a special connection based on a shared history and interests, enjoying doing things together or simply talking and understanding each other. Friends are there to help us at difficult times and to celebrate the good times. Doctors say that friends are very important for both our physical and mental health at all stages in life. 

Declaring an international Friendship Day

But friends are not only important on an individual level. Friendship can also be important on a global level. Friendships that cross borders can help bring peace and avoid war. Learning to think of other people, people who are different from us, as our friends helps us work together to build a culture of peace. That's why the UN declared 30 July as its official International Day of Friendship.

The origins of the day

An international celebration was first suggested by the World Friendship Crusade. This organisation was founded by Dr Ramón Artemio Bracho and his friends in Puerto Pinasco, Paraguay, in 1958. They wanted to support the power of friendship and its importance in creating a culture of peace. So, in the same year, they decided to celebrate Friendship Week in Puerto Pinasco and other places in Paraguay. The following year, they repeated the week and finished on 30 July, which they declared as Friendship Day. From there, celebrations of friendship grew and spread across the Americas, then the world, and eventually the UN declared an International Day of Friendship in 2011.

Friendship Days around the world

The International Day of Friendship on 30 July is not the only day celebrating friendship around the world. A number of countries, such as Paraguay, also celebrate on 30 July, but other countries have different dates. For example, Argentina, Brazil and Spain celebrate Friend's Day on 20 July, while in India and the US, they celebrate it on the first Sunday in August. In Finland and Estonia, Friendship Day is celebrated on the same day as Valentine's Day, 14 February.

What do people do on the International Day of Friendship?

Wherever it's celebrated, the celebrations are very similar. Friends meet up to spend time together. They may eat out or have a meal at home. They give each other small gifts: books, flowers, simple jewellery such as a friendship band (a simple bracelet). Some people send each other cards and greetings online. Whatever form the celebration takes, the spirit is the same – to remember the importance of friends and the power of friendship.


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Submitted by danisep on Wed, 30/12/2020 - 05:03

yes, I think that friends are important for mental health, we are socials beings we need to talk share our opinions and feelings so it’s something essential, but not everybody have the same ability to get friends for example I'm one of those, for that reason my friends are few I admire that ability to get along with strangers and those people who can make friends at everywhere.

Submitted by cittàutopica on Fri, 18/12/2020 - 15:28

Do I agree that friends are important? Of course! Friendship is a lifeline and backup anchor. Friends are more important than relatives very often. There are definitely different degrees of friendship, which can be more or less close, but it's always a bond and a resource.I have three friends since 1979 and, although we meet up rarely, we feel attached however.

Submitted by Gerlado Duque on Fri, 21/08/2020 - 21:47

If I agree that friends are important

Submitted by Julia19 on Tue, 04/08/2020 - 10:49

Unfortunately sometimes we forget about our friends and meet them only few times a month. But when I meet my friend I felt l such a great satisfication from our simple conversation that I regret about delaying that time. Friends exchange their energies, opinions and give each other an inspiration for many things. Friends are very important part of our well-being.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Thu, 30/07/2020 - 15:45

Yes, as i get older, come to realize that a best friend is so important in my life. Perhaps, indispensable to live longer... ! ;)
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Submitted by Monserrat HES on Mon, 27/07/2020 - 23:12

Yes, My friends are very important in my life. They always are with me. Hard times, good times. My friends are my another family.

Submitted by Sethijyoti on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 12:38

Hi. In this sentence - as our friends helps us work together to build a culture of, I think we should write as friends help us and not friends helps us. Please confirm. Thanks.

Hello Sethijyoti

The grammar of this sentence is correct. The subject of the verb 'helps' here is not 'as our friends' but rather 'Learning to think of other people as our friends'. The head word of this phrase is 'Learning', which takes a singular verb like 'helps'.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by CISSY on Wed, 13/11/2019 - 13:46

friends really play a vital role in our lives. They help in boosting both our mental and physical health. They are the ones you turn to when things go wrong, they are there to provide a shoulder to lean on. some genuine friends even offer us advice on the directions to take in life and so many other aspects of life. Its always cool having people who stick by you through bad and the good times. I wonder how life would be without friends........ Very boring right?