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There are few things I love more than an excuse to gather the girlies and hype each other up. While you certainly can and should show love to your besties all year round, there's also a semi-official day to celebrate your best friends—all thanks to my personal superhero, Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation. That day, of course, is Galentine’s Day.
As Leslie (iconically portrayed by Amy Poehler) explained on Parks and Rec back in 2010, February 13 is for the girls. Yup, Galentine's Day is a full 24 hours dedicated to celebrating the female friendships in your life. While there’s nothing wrong with spending February 14 with your partner or going on the Valentine’s Day date of your dreams (if you have the opportunity, by all means—take it!), there’s something special about celebrating the forever love that comes with female friendships, no matter how you feel about V-Day itself.
Whether you're new to the concept or just looking to take your Galentine's Day festivities to the next level, I've got you covered. Take a page out of Leslie’s book, gather up all of the Ann Perkins-tier friends—which is to say, all of the rainbow-infused space unicorns and beautiful tropical fish in your life—and plan something special!
So, when is Galentine’s Day?
Per Ms. Leslie Knope’s edict (which is how I live most of my life anyway), Galentine’s Day falls on February 13, or the day before Valentine’s Day.
Where did Galentine’s Day come from?
Like Festivus and Slapsgiving before it, this holiday was born on a television show. Galentine’s Day first entered the mainstream on a 2010 episode of Parks and Recreation (aptly titled "Galentine's Day," in case you were wondering). In this episode, Leslie plans a brunch for all of her closest friends, complete with presents, hearts, declarations of love and, of course, the key to any good celebration: lots of mimosas.
"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," Leslie explains. "Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” Sounds like my kind of time!
While the holiday started on the small screen, it quickly took on a life of its own, thanks to both the popularity of the show and the ingeniousness of the idea. Today, Etsy is cluttered with Galentine’s Day merch, Hallmark sells dedicated cards, and you can even buy a Galentine's Day bouquet. Suffice to say, this made-up holiday has officially made its way into the mainstream, and I’m here for it.
How can I celebrate Galentine’s Day?
Ultimately, Galentine's Day is just about spending time with and celebrating your gal pals. There's no right or wrong way to do it up: If your group loves to just drink wine and rewatch classic rom-coms, all the more power to you. But if you need a little inspo, here are some Leslie Knope-worthy celebration ideas.
1. Host a pajama party.
Who said sleepovers had to end in middle school? Absolutely nothing screams BFFs like a true girls night in. Ask your friends to pick out a pair of Valentine-themed pajamas (they can be sexy or sweet, depending on your vibe) and have the crew over for drinks and Chinese food. Then, break out a fun game—try We’re Not Really Strangers if you’re looking to get deep, or the classic Cards Against Humanity for the silly crowd. For extra fun, organize a gift or card swap!
2. Get a tarot card reading.
If you’re gathered with your girls, you may as well get witchy, right? Or, at least, that’s what I do. If none of your friends know their way around a tarot deck, find a virtual tarot reader to pull cards for you and your group. Not only will you leave with insights into your life (and perhaps the lives of your friends), but you’ll also definitely have a lot to talk about over dinner afterward.
3. Celebrate with high tea.
Whatever happened to the tea party? Bring it back this Galentine’s Day. Book a table at a spot that offers tea and crumpets, or host the girls for a DIY tea and snacks situation. Get dressed in your best Bridgerton 'fits, or keep it casual. It’s your day, so you can decide!
4. Take a dance class.
There’s nothing like a night with your girls to make you feel empowered and hot as hell—which you always are, but it’s nice to have the reminder. If you’re looking to tap into your sexy side this G-Day, set up a dance class for the girls. You can go to a heels or pole dancing studio, or just find a tutorial online.
Giggles and gorgeous Instagram content are guaranteed.
5. Go the classic route.
If you’re a Galentine’s Day traditionalist, you can totally celebrate just like Leslie and the gang did on the show. While you may not be able to hit up the JJ’s Diner, you can definitely find a local equivalent. (Just make sure they have amazing waffles, as Leslie would.)
If you’re feeling extra adventurous, replicate the gifts Leslie gave her friends: hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait made out of the crushed bottles of each person’s favorite diet soda, and a 5,000-word essay about why each lady is so awesome. Easy enough, right?
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