How They Celebrate Friendship Day in Argentina
The official motto of Friendship Day in Argentina is:
Un pueblo de amigos es una nación imbatible.
A community of friends is an invincible nation.
This special holiday sprouted from a most unexpected event. Let’s dive into the intriguing story of el Día del Amigo (Friendship Day) in Argentina and find out when and why they celebrate it!
History of Friendship Day in Argentina
July 20, 1969 commemorates the historical event of Neil Armstrong becoming “the first man on the Moon.”
This date also marks the origin of a holiday to celebrate the friends we cherish in our lives as our chosen family. But what does “a giant leap for mankind” have to do with Friendship Day in Argentina?
It traces back to a multidisciplinary individual named Enrique Febbraro. Febbraro—doctor in Dentistry and psychology, philosophy, and history professor—viewed this world-changing moment as the perfect opportunity for the whole world to come together as one.
He assured the event was a demonstration of humanity’s togetherness and that it proved how we can have a world with no borders or differences, united by unprecedented circumstances.
Before Apollo 11 returned to Earth, he wrote a thousand letters and sent them to different cities of the world so his proposal would expand. He was shocked to receive 700 responses.
Enrique Febbraro’s Vision
Enrique Febbraro was born in 1924 in Lomas de Zamora, Buenos Aires. He was nominated twice for the Nobel Peace Prize and passed away in November 2008.
Once he gained recognition, he told those who interviewed him that he’d always had the idea of bringing together the world in a global holiday to celebrate friendship and fraternity.
As a radio host, he assures that his urge for a holiday like this sparked when he realized that there was not a single, unified date that celebrated something as precious as friendship. He constantly searched for an appropriate day for this celebration, but he always found another holiday taking place.
July 20, 1969 was the game-changer. Not only did he send all those letters, but he personally visited national and international organizations and spoke to numerous leaders to present his proposal of a not-for-profit celebration whose objective was to unite the world.
Friendship Day Origin
Since Febbraro was part of the Rotary Club—the oldest and largest NGO in the world—he yielded the patent of Friendship Day in Argentina to the club in 1972.
As his proposal became popular worldwide, and especially in Latin America, the government of Buenos Aires declared July 20 to be National Friendship Day in 1979.
On November 29, 1983, the government of Buenos Aires established Lomas de Zamora as the “provincial capital of friendship” in honor of Febbraro.
Celebrating Friendship Day in Argentina
Friend’s Day in Argentina means giving gifts and, more importantly, getting together with your dearest friends and enjoying quality time with them. Some people like to write letters to let their loved ones know how much they mean to them.
True to Febbraro’s ideals, people give relevance to inclusion, cultural diversity, and respect.
Matear en el parque (drinking mate in the park) is surely Argentinians’ favorite activity to chill out and share a fun afternoon with friends. Mate is the national beverage, a tea they prepare with dried yerba mate and hot water and drink in containers called bombillas.
Preparing a quality mate and some sandwiches is the perfect plan whenever you want to celebrate Friendship Day in Argentina. Happy Friendship Day!
Friendship Day Around the World
Due to Enrique Febbraro’s efforts, July 20 is also Friendship Day in Spain, Chile, Uruguay, and Brazil.
Nonetheless, the United Nations established July 30 as International Friendship Day. The main objective is to achieve friendship and build bridges and strong bonds among nations. They seek to create dialogue, encourage solidarity and reconciliation.
In contrast, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia celebrate friendship on the first Sunday in August. Colombia celebrates el Día del Amor y la Amistad in September.
Got a traveler’s heart? Check out: 10 Mind-Blowing Reasons to Explore Patagonia in Argentina & Chile
Places to Visit in Buenos Aires
Celebrate Friend’s Day in Argentina by seeing these amazing sites with your friends on your next trip!
1. Río Tigre
At Tigre River you can enjoy the wonderful view, hike, go horseback riding, or swim on a hot day! Its convenient location makes it easy to reach for tourists and locals.
2. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Visit the National Art Museum’s wonderful exhibits of 19th-century Argentinian art, European works from the 12th to the 19th centuries, and unique collections like Guerrico and Hirsch.
There is also a curated catalog of up to 44 female Argentinian artists from 1890 to 1950.
3. Teatro Colón
Major artists have performed in this marvelous opera house, considered one of the best in the world. Distinctive architecture and unparalleled acoustics make it a must-see destination.
4. Plaza de Mayo
With a piece of history behind it, Plaza de Mayo (May Square) got its name from the Argentine revolution back in May 1810. It has been the site of other historical events, including protests for the country’s independence and political rallies.
Find a New World
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