This year, on Sunday, February 13, women will be celebrating each other by getting together and doing fun things in the name of sisterhood and female empowerment. This relatively new annual celebration is called Galentine’s Day and takes place the day before Valentine’s Day.
Created from a Television Show
Galentine’s Day started off as a joke written into an episode of “Parks and Recreation,” a television show starring “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Amy Poehler. In 2010 in an episode called “Galentine’s Day,” the main character, played by Poehler, invited seven women to a brunch at a restaurant to celebrate her friendships with them. As Poehler’s character explains to the camera, “Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style.” During the brunch, she gave the seven women gift bags with thoughtful gifts including 5,000-word personalized essays describing how each woman was so awesome.
Given the immense popularity of the show among its legions of fans, it wasn’t completely surprising for its fictional Galentine’s Day celebration of women to resonate among female viewers. Starting in about 2014, women started hosting their own spinoffs of Galentine’s Day, typically in defiance against the traditional romantic relationships of Valentine’s Day. Over time, however, the jaded attitudes towards traditional couples relationships and the sneers towards the romanticism of February 14 have faded a bit into the background, bringing forward a more genuine reason for this unofficial holiday — to honor the bonds of friendship among women.
Honoring Bonds Among Women
How can women celebrate their friendships with other women in ways that are special and meaningful? Galentine’s Day is one way to celebrate. All it takes is for a woman to have a basic recognition of another woman who is special and a desire to do something to thank her for being a part of her life.
Women of all ages can honor their friendships and relationships with women. Sisters can honor their mothers, grandmothers, aunts and other female role models in their lives. Single women can lean on each other and praise one another for providing a solid support system that gets them through the highs and lows of life.
As for mothers? The bonds between mothers are practically indestructible. Mothers fall into their own category of female support systems as they navigate the wonders and difficulties of raising children, while maintaining positive family relationships and dealing with the mundanities of household living. The communal bonds of motherhood are felt the strongest through real-life and internet-based mothers’ groups, where moms with wildly different lifestyles can relate to the same exact problems, emotions and joys of child rearing.
No matter which category you may fall in, you always have the option to celebrate a special woman in your life. You don’t have to wait for Galentine’s Day to honor her one day in the year, but if you choose to, you have lots of good options for events and activities.
Recognition of Galentine’s Day
As the popularity of Galentine’s Day has grown in recent years, so has the number of businesses recognizing women’s desires to get together to celebrate the important women in their lives (and jumping on the marketing opportunity.) As a result, restaurants, specialty chocolate shops and other companies have made it a point to offer themed goods and events to commemorate the day, whether in-person or virtually.
Sip & Script, Inc., a Boston-based company specializing in classes in calligraphy, is one of many businesses offering Galentine’s Day events. Throughout the months of January and February 2022, Sip & Script is hosting fun calligraphy classes for beginners at restaurants and farmers markets throughout the D.C. area. The company’s local instructor is Shannon Ho from Gaithersburg, Maryland, who is also the owner of the paper design firm, peach & paperie. According to Ho, Galentine’s Day is considered the Superbowl of events for Sip & Script. “We love using Galentine’s Day to empower and inspire other ladies in their creativity. Calligraphy classes are the perfect creative date to celebrate friendships and family bonds! [They are] a great way to be original and show the ladies in your life how much you love and support them.”
According to Sip and Script founder Julie Mancini, “We believe that Galentine’s Day for a mom is not feeling guilty about treating yourself! Taking a little time out to relax and recharge, and hopefully have some girl time with friends who also need a well-deserved break. [Mothers celebrate Galentine’s Day by] putting yourself first!”
For Anisha Thompson, owner of Elyvation Station in Laurel, Md., “Galentine’s Day is a celebration of sisterhood and friendship.” A holistic women’s spa, Elyvation Station focuses on the healing properties of its services. Thompson enjoys working with the meditative practice of chakras and individual energies in order to benefit her mostly female clientele. She thrives on helping women “take charge of [their] healing, and take charge of [their] life.” Elyvation Station plans to offer women’s steams with healing herbs and other treatments for Galentine’s Day.
Keep it Simple, but Make it Sincere
Ultimately, Galentine’s Day isn’t meant to be a copycat of the original “Parks and Recreation” episode. No one said you have to go to a restaurant or purchase or make gifts for women. So long as the honor you want to bestow on your women friends is sincere, that is the truest form of honoring the bonds of friendship among women.