The affectionate relationship between two human beings with no family ties and which goes beyond basic politeness and etiquette is called friendship. As the bond deepens, friendship grows and lasts a lifetime.
Friendship has become a social objective for the human being: nobody goes through life without developing this affection. There is the case of people who are strangers, but who grow fond of each other. Let us not forget this affectionate feeling has been expressed not only in real life, but also in fiction literature.
Plain and sincere friendship in literature has been conveyed in its highest level in the relationship between noble gentleman Alonso Quijano and the clumsy and ignorant peasant called Sancho Panza in the book “The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha”.
As the plot develops, both characters demonstrate the value of friendships when facing common objectives, such as fulfilling their duties.
Then we also have great Alexandre Dumas, French writer who published in 1844 his immortal creation “The Three Musketeers”, a novel that tells the adventures of three young soldiers (Athos, Aramis and Porthos) with the King´s Musketeer Company when they meet a poor young peer nobleman called D’Artagnan. Their famous motto “One for all, all for one” is a symbol of the highest level of friendship that can be found in world literature. Do not forget that this is the only friendship in literature that continued in two more books: “Twenty Years After” and “The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later”.
But the earliest expression of friendship is in the “Epic of Gilgamesh”, which is the oldest tale in history. Dated in the 27th century BC, it accounts the story of two friends, King Gilgamesh and wild Enkidu, who go in search of glory but find death and later discover immortality.
In real life, there are lasting friendships not only between people, of the same or different sexes, but also between humans and animals. The best known one is between man and dog, which has been called “man’s best friend”. But we have also sometimes seen friendship grow between animals, and we see them playing together.
It is an important activity for the human being; therefore, many countries have established “Friends Day”, and we will tell you about it in the next lines.
In several countries (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain and the United States) it is celebrated on July 20 every year, in memory of that date in 1969 when a group of astronauts reached the moon, an event that caused an unprecedented world unity.
But the first country in Latin America to celebrate Friends Day was Paraguay, on July 30, 1958, which was also set as a national holiday. One of its customs, the “Secret Friend” has spread all over the Americas. In the fraternal country of Bolivia it is celebrated on July 23. Instead, other countries (Mexico, Ecuador, and Dominican Republic) also celebrate friendship on Valentine´s Day (February 14).
On the other hand, in some countries there is no fixed date to celebrate: Chile (first Friday in October), Colombia (third Saturday in September) and Peru (first Saturday in July).