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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Language level

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by Nony123 on Sun, 18/09/2022 - 15:13


It’s ecstatic paragraph!
I view point , The friendships is wonderful word and two body in one soul that’s mean connection for each other in sad life or happy life . They connect in life together that’s a good friend, ❤️

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 23/07/2022 - 16:34


Following on from what I mentioned earlier, I'd like to add that the question is about ''who first thought of declaring an international Friendship Day'', not about ''who first suggested an international celebration''.I mean that only an organization like the UN could ''declare an International Day''.
Anyway, this was rather another chance for me to try to express my greek thoughts in English.
Many thanks again

Hi Nikos,

I see what you mean. Even though Artemio Bracho probably didn't think about declaring it himself, I think it's reasonable to assume that he thought about the day being declared as an international day. If this were a comprehension question on an exam, I'd look into changing it, but since it's a quick exercise to follow up on the text, I think it's OK as is.

Thanks, though, as always, for your helpful suggestions.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 23/07/2022 - 10:16


Dear Team,
congratulations for the interesting and important texts you chose in the Magazine zone.
Please, could you check the right answer in Task 1,''Who first thought of declaring an international Friendship Day?''.In the second and third paragraphs, it says that the UN declared the specific International Day.
Thanks a lot

Submitted by meknini on Thu, 14/07/2022 - 09:42


'Friends' carries a very broad definition that needs to be properly defined individually as what is deemed as a friendship wouldn't fit another's. Generally, most tend to group: peers, colleagues, officemates, co-workers, neighbors and casually known persons, as friends while others are more selective. I, for one, am quite restrictive in calling anyone as my friend since a friendship to me should be a lifetime of shared tears and joys.

Submitted by _AngryCupcake_ on Mon, 18/04/2022 - 21:09


Before reading this blog I wasn't informed that actually there exists a day dedicated to friendship. This fact made me so happy because my friends play crucial role in may life, but I always felt that their importance was underestimated in the eyes of the society.
I think that friendship is a reciprocal relationship where every person must invest time, care and effort in order to receive the same thing. (But be careful, it's not called friendship if you give a lot but don't get anything back). Nowadays it is often confused with a business deal, where you call someone "friend" only while they can fulfill your interests and then, after a short period of time, you disappear or maybe act like they never existed.
What can we do to change this? Well maybe make the International Day of Friendship more popular and promote real life stories of successful friendships, those who have resisted time and obstacles of life, those which may serve as a role model and strengthen the hope that real friendships still exist.

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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 30/07/2021 - 15:52

"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." Unfortunately, a friend of mine can never find a "best friend" because he plays both sides of the field or he might just try to be everyone's pet. A good friendship cannot exist without thinking by getting closer to others' feelings in others' shoes before taking actions. Don't be spoiled!!!

Submitted by PARIMALA MADIAZHAKAN on Tue, 27/07/2021 - 05:03

Yes, I agreed that that friends are important to us. It's because sometimes friends can be a stress buster and problem solvers in our life. We can share our personal problems without any obstacles. Friends always support us in any way and be a good motivator to succeed. They share our happiness and sadness. We can be friends and make friends with our own family members, neighbors, and cousins. Happy is the definition of a friendship.

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Mon, 05/07/2021 - 06:07

Yeh,I absolutely agree that! Friends are very very important in our life. Without any friends,I don't think we can be successful and solve many problems along our life.We can say friends are the greatest gift of God.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Wed, 30/12/2020 - 13:17

I have a friend in my mind. I talk to him everyday. He laughs at me everyday. That's the way we talk with. ;)
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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?

Submitted by Sahil pawalia on Sat, 19/10/2019 - 06:06

I tell you my personal experience about friendship.I think that having more and more friends in our life is have a more fun and entertainment in our life, especially the type of friends who always with you in any situation,like my friends,they always with me at any time.I suggest you that whenever you will feel sad and upset,call your friends and spend some time with them you will feel much better,this is my personal experience i shared with you above,at last but not least i suggest you do not behave cruelty and badly with you friends,it makes your bonding vulnerable.

Submitted by sunna chowdhury on Tue, 10/09/2019 - 18:15

This essay agrees that friendship is crucial for both mental and physical state of human. Friendship can simply be explain as a relationship that makes us happy and makes our moments more charming. Friends makes us happy because we a build a friendly relationship with the people who have same mentality like us at the same time they understand us. Therefore, we feel comfort with our friends.For instance, a survey was conducted with 5000+ people from different city all over the world between 2001 and 2002 ,with the aim of understanding there mental state when they stay with friends and why. Answer was they feel happy with friends and top reason of this happiness given by 99% of those surveyed they are comfort with their friend, followed by they forget stress matter. Therefore, we can concluded that friendship is the most important part of our life.
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Submitted by Anaitat on Wed, 04/09/2019 - 15:08

I agree with that completely, friends are important because of special connections based on shared histories and interests, enjoying doing things together or simply talking and understanding each other. It is rightly said, ‘Friends are the family we choose ourselves’. It is important to have friends as it is to have a family. Good friends help, guide and support us at every stage. Friends give us emotional support: friends help us at difficult times, help us deal with stress, help to feel better and celebrate with us the good times, that means they support us through thick and thin. Scientific-based, friends are very important for both our physical and mental health at all stages in life. Friendfluence works in two directions: being a friend is a great honour and responsibility.

Submitted by dan on Fri, 09/08/2019 - 03:39

Hello! We have family friends just one another family. They are very nice people and very supportive for us. They can't have a baby, something is not OK with their state of health, and they are effectively the second parents for our girl. Quite often we meet together to have lunch or dinner. It is very nice to spend time together.

Submitted by parisaach on Tue, 06/08/2019 - 07:13

Yes I think friends are very important part of our life. People who have good friends are happier and more successful, but we should be careful and don't suppose everyone who we're talking to as a friend. In my country we don't have special day of friendship, maybe we have but I don't know anything about it. We should be careful don't lose our good friends, because friends are not tied to us like our family, and we might lose our good friends by making some mistakes. I really care about my friends I was born on december 26, Based on Iranian calendar it is the 5th day of winter and the first month of winter is called 'Dey' which is starts on 22nd of December and ends on second of Jannuary . According to our local horoscop people who born in Dey are really care about their friends and I really do.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Tue, 30/07/2019 - 11:49

I learned a lot from this page which is very informative! I never thought I could be happy until I meet really good friends! Friends like having a special connection and understanding each other are great, just the way they are! No man is an island, or rather, anything is possible when you have the right people there to suppport you! ε(*'-')з†.*・゚☆Happyヾ(゚∇゚)ノFriendship Day☆゚・*.†ε('-'*)з