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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Celebrating the unofficial holiday of platonic love

Bianca Oppedisano
Two friends sit and chat. Illustration by Bianca Oppedisano / Mass Media Staff.

The month of love is here, and with the beginning of February comes the preparation for another quickly-approaching Valentine’s Day. In honor of the romantic holiday, stores across the nation adorn their shelves with pink and red merchandise. Meanwhile, window displays advertise special editions of items for those looking to get presents for their significant other or crush.

For the ones without a partner or any romantic interest whatsoever, this time of year may be one to dread for its emphasis on romantic love. However, February is the month of love for a reason, and celebrating the platonic love that people have for their friends is well within its domain.

Originally derived from the popular television series “Parks and Recreation,” Galentine’s Day is celebrated the day before Valentine’s Day on Feb. 13. While initially referred to as a day celebrating female friendships, Galentine’s Day has gradually evolved to become a more broad celebration of friendships in general. [1]

Although there may be no Cupid to shoot his arrows of love, Galentine’s Day offers the opportunity to participate in the activities reserved for Valentine’s Day with just a group of close friends.

Chocolates and flowers are typically thought of in a romantic sense, regarded as one of the staples to gift a partner when celebrating holidays like Valentine’s Day. Often overlooked when it comes to being given to friends, chocolates and flowers can still make the sweetest gifts for Galentine’s Day.

Going the extra mile to pick out a box of their favorite chocolates or a fresh bouquet of flowers sporting their favorite colors can show a friend just how cherished they are.

Handmade gifts are similarly another wonderful way to show appreciation, with a variety of mediums that can be used to create the perfect gift. No money needs to be spent to make a special present with sentimental value that will be treasured forever. 

From crocheting matching hearts, making friendship bracelets or bedazzling origami cards, there is no limitation on what someone can make to spoil their friends.

Hosting a “bring a board” night can be a fun way to liven up Galentine’s Day and have a varied feast in the comfort of one’s home. In the style of a charcuterie board, each friend brings a “board” of food that adheres to a particular category—such as desserts or snacks—usually assigned or claimed beforehand. With the many themes and options to bring, groups can have a fun night in watching a movie or playing board games while enjoying a unique full-course dinner.

Regardless of artistic talent, painting with friends can make for a memorable time together, one immortalized in the finished painted product.

Plastic wine glasses or canvas tote bags can be found online and make great, cheap canvases for a Galentine’s Day painting activity. Purchase paint supplies from the local store and bring the materials to a designated painting spot on the day of for a relaxing day of painting.

For a more personalized painting activity, set up a timer and switch glasses or bags after a certain amount of time has passed so that each friend can contribute their own art. Although the day will eventually end, everyone will have a piece of one another to take home with them that they can look back upon.

Galentine’s Day is a day for platonic love and for celebrating the friendships made in life, whether recently or over the span of many years. Just as there are many diverse kinds of friend groups, there are many ways to celebrate.

At the end of the day, it’s not how the time is spent, but rather, the time that is dedicated to celebrating friends.



[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/wordplay/galentines-day-meaning

About the Contributor
Bianca Oppedisano, Illustrator