Galentine’s Day: Why should you celebrate it?

February 13th is for celebrating friendships.

Galentine’s Day is a fictional holiday celebrated annually on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day. The holiday originates from the television show Parks and Rec, but has since been adopted by fans of the show and many millennials as an opportunity to celebrate their female friendships. Although merely a concept created for on-screen entertainment, I believe that there are numerous reasons why Galentine’s Day deserves a celebration on a scale equivalent to the fluffy pink pageantry of Valentine’s Day.

The holiday is similar to Valentines Day, only instead of celebrating the love you have for your significant other, you are celebrating the love between your friends. Society seems to condition us all to believe that emotional fulfilment is predominantly gained through our romantic relationships, a belief which is fuelled by the commercialised spectacle of February 14th. However, in my opinion, this is an untrue and harmful conception. Are our lives really incomplete without a romantic partner to share them with?

If you do not have a significant other to celebrate Valentine’s Day with, it is considered normal to spend the day dodging garish red hearts and sobbing into tubs of ice cream, as if there is something fundamentally wrong with your life. But the connection that exists within loving unions is by no means confined to romantic partnerships. Don’t the numerous friends who are in our lives provide us with enough love and support to gratify us? Surely we should stop putting so much emphasis on romantic relationships, and instead focus on cherishing the other relationships in our lives. Friendships can provide just as much emotional support and happiness, and such love is definitely worthy of a day of acknowledgement.

While romantic relationships can come and go, it is our friends whom we can fully rely on to help us through all the major landmarks of our life. Personally, I cannot imagine university – or even my life – without my friends, and I thoroughly believe that they deserve a day dedicated to celebrating the emotional support they provide and the many laughs we have together. Friends care for us when we’re sick, comfort us when we’re upset and are always our biggest cheerleaders when things go well. At university, who else is motivating you through your all-nighters, ensuring you don’t embarrass yourself (*too much*) in the club and thoroughly encouraging the necessity of all-night movie marathons? I certainly would not have remained at Durham, so far from my hometown, if I had not have formed such wonderful friendships.

Among the largely unacknowledged truths of contemporary female life is that women’s foundational relationships are as likely to be with one another as they are with the romantic partners who, we’re told, are supposed to complete us.” – Rebecca Traister

Therefore, if friendships are on a par with romantic relationships, why are they not celebrated at all? Valentine’s Day is an international holiday; anniversary celebrations mark the years (and sometimes even months) that you’ve been with your partner; weddings/civil partnerships are widely considered to be the ultimate honouring of romantic love. But there is no recognition of the role our close friends play in our lives.

Galentine’s Day is, therefore, not just a trivial television conception. Rather, it is the perfect opportunity for friends everywhere to recognise the importance of the love we have for each other. Although created as a way to celebrate solely female friendship, Galentine’s Day can surely be re-invented even further to encompass all friendships without any gender limitation. That is why on February 13th I shall be making an effort to show my friends just how much I love them.

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