Gather round, girlies, and we’ll tell you the tale of the most magical day of the year—a sacred day of sisterhood and, as Paris Hilton might say, sliving. Yes, we’re talking about Galentine’s Day. What is Galentine’s Day, you ask? So glad you did. Falling each year on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day is the friendship version of V-Day—a day all about celebrating the platonic love between the women and non-binary people (and friends of all genders, really) in your life. Best of all? You can celebrate it any way you please. Host a brunch, a dinner, a wine and cheese night, throw a party, exchange gifts, book a spa day, etc., etc. However you like to spoil the non-romantic loved-ones in your life, this is the day to do it.
Of course, you don’t need a special holiday to shower your besties with TLC—but it certainly never hurts to have an excuse to get a little extra with it, ya know? More good news: literally anyone can celebrate G-Day. Whether you’re single, coupled-up, stuck in a talking stage, or languishing away in yet another unlabeled three-month situationship, Galentine’s Day is a chance to get in on all the V-Day vibes, even if you don’t happen to have a date for February 14th this year. (Not that you need one, JFYI!)
So regardless of your current relationship status, we all have plenty to celebrate this February
14th 13th. And to make your G-Day planning as easy as possible, we’ve gone ahead and broken down the deets on every single thing you need to know about Galentine’s Day. From what it is, to how to celebrate it, to top-notch Galentine’s Day gifts and the very best G-Day ’fits, here’s how to make the most of everyone’s favorite unofficially-official holiday.
What and When is Galentine’s Day?
According to Urban Dictionary, Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13—the day before Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day Eve. While Ryan from The Office knows this is, perhaps, the worst night of the year to hook up with someone new, it just so happens to be one of the best calendar days to celebrate love with your besties.
While the holiday can look different for everyone (there aren’t any rules, like dressing up in costume or bringing a giant pine tree inside your house), the whole point of G-Day is to honor the connection you have with your lady friends, whether they’re single or not, and shower them with more love and attention than you do every other day. It’s sort of like Friendsgiving celebrations in the sense that you all get together and love on each other, but Galentine’s Day is typically more centered around female bonding and empowerment.
Where Did Galentine’s Day Come From?
One of the most interesting things about Galentine’s Day is that it wasn’t created by a card company or internet marketplace trying to take all your money. Instead, Galentine’s Day was founded by a badass fictional character: Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation.
The friend-filled holiday dates back over a decade to season two, episode 16 of Parks and Rec. During the 2010 episode (which is aptly called “Galentine’s Day”), Leslie gathers a group of her closest gal pals for a brunch full of waffles and love. “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,” she explains in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies.”
And thus, Galentine’s Day was unofficially added to everyone’s calendar. According to The Atlantic, it’s such a widely recognized fake holiday that some companies now run Galentine’s Day promotions. What could be more real than that?
How Do I Celebrate Galentine’s Day?
First off, just like Valentine’s Day, you are absolutely free to skip Galentine’s Day if it doesn’t feel like your thing. That said, it’s definitely worth giving the holiday a chance. Sure, it sounds a lil cheesy, but considering that it’s a day all about showering your friends with affection, it’s a pretty easy holiday to fall in love with.
The good news is that because Galentine’s Day is so new, there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate. Without centuries of tradition, you sort of get to make your own rules here. Many people choose to pay tribute to Leslie Knope—the foremother of Galentine’s Day, if you will—by hosting a waffle and cocktail brunch. If breakfast foods aren’t your vibe, you could gather your pals for a tapas happy hour, make a reservation at a fancy restaurant, coordinate a group mani-pedi appointment, or simply pop champagne and commemorate how great it is to be in a room full of your favorite people for a few hours.
Better yet, you don’t even have to leave your house or put on pants to mark the occasion. If your bestie is long-distance, you could celebrate by sending them a cute care package and catching up over a long FaceTime. Or you can use the day to pamper yourself! You’re a gal, so show yourself some love whether that’s with a brand new Galentine’s Day outfit or a luxe spa day. It’s your Galentine’s Day, bb, and you can celebrate however you want.
Should I Throw a Galentine’s Day Party?
If all of the above has you seeing a potential Galentine’s Day party on the horizon, you’re in luck, because this is one holiday that’s super easy to host. Decor-wise, most people utilize the V-Day aesthetic for G-Day, so you don’t even have to put up different decorations to get your space ready. Deck your place out in Valentine’s Day decor (the more heart balloons, the better!), invite a few pals over, and chow down on some treats. Easy peasy!
If you want to extend the festivities, you could host a slumber party complete with blanket forts, PJs, and prank calls (maybe not the last one, actually?), or have a virtual Galentine’s Day party and get everyone together on Zoom to celebrate from your own homes. Basically, think of this party as an elevated friend hang, whatever that means to you.
Do I Have to Buy Stuff?
Again, there’s no rule that says you *have* to do anything other than honor yourself and your friends. If you really want to show the love, though, gifting your pals something special will definitely hit them in the feels. Here are a few cute suggestions your besties will love. (Remember: It’s totally okay to order an extra for yourself! It’s your holiday too!)
Is Galentine’s Day Only for Women?
Nope. Despite its name, anyone and everyone can celebrate Galentine’s Day. At its gooey heart, Galentine’s Day is a celebration of friendship and the people who stick by your side as romantic relationships come and go. That means you can celebrate with any and all friends, no matter their genders, orientations, etc. Like the holiday it precedes, Galentine’s day is dedicated to showing the most important people in your life how much you care about them. It’s corny. It’s cheesy. And that’s what makes it great.
Rachel Varina is a full-time freelance writer covering everything from the best vibrators (the Lelo Sona) to the best TV shows (The Vampire Diaries). She has over 10 years of editorial experience with bylines at Women’s Health, Elite Daily, Betches, and more. She lives in Tampa, Florida, but did not feed her husband to tigers. When she’s not testing out new sex toys (100+ and counting so far!), she’s likely chilling with her dogs or eating buffalo chicken dip. Ideally at the same time. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
Alex Brady is a Cosmopolitan intern who’s excited about everything from pop culture to spirituality to sub-cultures.