Día del Amigo has become a Christmas holiday without the gifts or family members. It has spread such that it no longer covers only friends, but anyone who walks by.
In Argentina and Uruguay July 20th is Día del Amigo, Friend Day. It’s not a public holiday, but more in the vein of Valentine’s Day—just a day for old friends to get together or strangers to get to know each other. It was promoted by Dr. Enrique Ernesto Febbraro, a professor of psychology, music history and dentistry, who was inspired by the feeling of global communion that swept the world as millions of folks all over the planet tuned in to watch or hear about the lunar moon landing on July 20, 1969.
Writes California blogger Disco Shawn upon visiting Argentina:
My first thought was to dismiss the whole thing as some sort of Hallmark holiday [but] …Apparently Febbraro’s efforts have paid off, as many Buenos Aires restaurants have been booked solid for a week or more. In 2005 part of the Argentinian cellular network crashed on Día del Amigo under the strain of so many people calling and texting their friends and loved ones.
This year is the 40th anniversary of the Lunar Moon Landing by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and that other guy. For that reason, scientists have also proclaimed July 20th Moon Day. Moon Day hasn’t made as deep an impact as Earth Day yet, but if South America keeps up Día del Amigo, July 20th may give April 22nd some competition.
“To see the Earth as it truly is, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence where it floats, is to see ourselves as riders on the Earth together, brothers on that bright loveliness in the eternal cold—brothers who know now that they are truly brothers.” — Archibald MacLeish
Día del Amigo is not to be confused with International Friendship Day, which was proclaimed in 1935 as the first Sunday in August, and which to the best of my knowledge nobody really celebrates.
El único momento de la vida en que me siento yo mismo es cuando estoy con mis amigos. — Gabriel García Márquez