Valentine's Day haters find love in Galentine's Day, when female friends are feted

The American phenomenon of Galentine's Day, when female friends celebrate platonic love on Feb 13, started in 2000 in a TV sitcom episode and has been gaining popularity.
The American phenomenon of Galentine's Day, when female friends celebrate platonic love on Feb 13, started in 2000 in a TV sitcom episode and has been gaining popularity.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • For some people, facing the onslaught of Valentine's Day flowers, candy and marketing can be overwhelming if you are single. For Ms Riya Patel, it is a reason to celebrate love - platonic love - even by long distance.

Welcome to the American phenomenon of Galentine's Day, feted on Feb 13 - a "holiday" gaining in popularity with each passing year, and also gaining in terms of its message of female empowerment.

"I've organised this giant group FaceTime with all my closest girlfriends. All of us are going to get on the phone and celebrate each other," says Ms Patel, a 22-year-old research analyst.

"And then I'll just celebrate me. That's probably going to end up being some restorative yoga in my bedroom and then making something with bourbon in it."

Galentine's Day was born in 2010 during an episode of the American TV sitcom Parks And Recreation when the main character Leslie Knope (played by Amy Poehler) hosts a brunch on Feb 13 for her best gal pals.

It was conceived as a defiant response to Valentine's Day - a statement that the traditional romantic love is not the only kind worth honouring.

But Galentine's Day has grown from being a semi-joke to a semi-serious holiday - and it is generating big money.

 
 
 

Many businesses have started selling themed products - cards, wine glasses, candies, cookies. Big box stores have dedicated sections for the event.

Galentine's Day sales are predicted to bring in a 20 per cent total revenue increase over the next three years, according to an estimate by NPD Group retail analyst Marshal Cohen.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2019, with the headline 'Valentine's Day haters find love in Galentine's Day, when female friends are feted'. Print Edition | Subscribe