Galentine’s Day celebrates female friendships

Amelia Symons, Staff Writer

Since a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation, women all around the world have celebrated Galentine’s Day. The day before Valentine’s Day, February 13, is a day for celebrating female friendship. Amy Poehler, who plays Leslie Knope, explains what Galentine’s Day is as she prepares for her annual Galentine’s party. She says, “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies.” 

Over the past decade, Galentine’s Day has gained immense popularity. Businesses have added Galentine’s Day promotions to their calendars including special happy hours, brunches, and spa days.  Though it falls the day right before Valentine’s Day, a day for couples, Galentine’s Day does not have to be only for those not in relationships. Last year, Scotland held nationwide viewing of Legally Blonde and Mean Girls. The idea of Galentine’s Day was to “fill a void in the Valentine’s Day market that left single women feeling alienated by the pomp and circumstance of the lover’s holiday.” On average over 500,000 people make an Instagram post about their Galentine’s Day activities; over 60% of women are buying non-romantic gifts in February for Galentine’s Day, and nearly 5 million people will watch the “Galentine’s Day” episode of Parks and Recreation.

Although it seems great to have an entire day dedicated to cherishing female friendships, there are some people who aren’t totally for the idea behind Galentine’s Day. Some people think there shouldn’t have to be a day where you celebrate friendships and that those friendships should be celebrated year round. Journalist Poorna Bella tweeted just before Galentine’s Day in 2019 her opinion on the day: “An unpopular thought but Galentine’s Day gets up my nose as much as Valentine’s. I don’t need a day to celebrate my female friendships. To me, that’s forged in the midnight Ubers, the tissue pressed into their hand as they cry, the belly laugh as you’re walking down a street.” 

Americans are not the only people to celebrate female and non-romantic friendships as well as romantic relationships. In Finland, the relationships between friends and lovers are celebrated on the same day, February 14. In Brazil, June 12 marks the day for Lovers Day, and in China, November 11 is Singles Day where a lot of retail therapy happens for those not in relationships. 

Keeping the current situation in mind, people are encouraged to implement social distancing for their Galentine’s Day celebrations this year, by either limiting the people, increasing the space of the venue, or celebrating over a zoom call.