Friendship is one of the most precious gifts of life. A person who has true friends in life is lucky enough to have a support system that can help him or her through thick and thin. Friends are the ones who share our joys and sorrows, who stand by us in times of need, and who make us feel loved and valued. Friendship Day is a special occasion to celebrate these bonds of love and loyalty.
Friendship Day is observed on different dates in different countries. In India, it is celebrated on the first Sunday of August every year. This year, it falls on August 6, 2023. The idea of dedicating a day to friendship was first proposed by Joyce Hall, the founder of Hallmark Cards, in 1919. However, it was not until 1935 that the US Congress declared the first Sunday of August as National Friendship Day. Since then, the day has been adopted by many other countries as a way of honoring friends and expressing gratitude for their presence in our lives.
One of the most popular ways of celebrating Friendship Day is by exchanging friendship bands, which are colorful bracelets made of threads or beads that symbolize the bond of friendship. Friends also exchange cards, flowers, chocolates, and other gifts to show their affection and appreciation. Some friends also plan outings, parties, or trips together to spend quality time and create memories.
However, Friendship Day is not just about exchanging material things or having fun. It is also about reflecting on the true meaning and value of friendship. A famous proverb says, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” This means that a true friend is someone who helps you when you really need help, not someone who is only there for you when it suits them. A true friend is someone who is loyal, trustworthy, honest, supportive, and understanding. A true friend is someone who accepts you for who you are, respects your choices, and encourages you to grow. A true friend is someone who stands up for you, defends you, and protects you from harm.
The proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” has a long history and can be traced back to ancient times. Some sources suggest that it was first used by Quintus Ennius, a Roman poet and dramatist, in the 3rd century BC. Other sources attribute it to Aesop, a Greek storyteller and fabulist, who lived in the 6th century BC. The proverb has also been used by various writers and philosophers throughout history, such as Cicero, Shakespeare, Emerson, and Gandhi.
The proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” has been illustrated by many stories and examples in literature and real life. One of the most famous examples is the story of Damon and Pythias, two friends who lived in ancient Syracuse. Pythias was accused of plotting against the tyrant Dionysius and was sentenced to death. He asked for permission to go home and settle his affairs before his execution. Dionysius agreed but demanded that Damon stay as a hostage until Pythias returned. Damon agreed and gave himself up as a guarantee of his friend’s return. However, Pythias was delayed by various obstacles and could not return on time. Damon was prepared to die in his place but at the last moment, Pythias arrived and begged to be executed instead of Damon. Dionysius was so impressed by their friendship that he pardoned them both and asked to be their friend as well.
Another example of the proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” is the story of Sudama and Krishna, two childhood friends who grew up together in ancient India. Sudama was poor and Krishna was rich and powerful. Sudama went to visit Krishna after many years with a humble gift of rice flakes. Krishna welcomed him with great joy and treated him with honor and generosity. He also blessed him with wealth and prosperity as a reward for his friendship.
These stories show us that true friendship transcends all barriers of time, distance, status, and wealth. True friendship is based on mutual respect, trust, care, and sacrifice. True friendship is rare and precious.
On this Friendship Day, let us celebrate our true friends who have been with us through thick and thin. Let us thank them for their support, guidance, comfort, and love. Let us cherish them for their presence in our lives. Let us remember the proverb “a friend in need is a friend indeed” and strive to be true friends ourselves.