What is Galentine's Day? When and how to celebrate your female friends

It doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship: celebrate Galentine's Day in style (The Berkeley)
It doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship: celebrate Galentine's Day in style (The Berkeley)

It is 2024 and the year of the independent woman.

So why not make it the year that you celebrate your gal pals?

While Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate the love of your life, Galentine's is designed to show you care for inspirational women you admire.

It doesn't matter if you're single or in a relationship, there's never been a better time to spread the love among your platonic girlfriends.

If you're a woman and have not heard of Galentine's Day, the chances are that you will have participated in it anyway.

If you have ever sent a card or flowers to a woman around Valentine's Day, you've sent a Galentine. Put simply, Galentine's is Valentine's for “gals”.

Where did Galentine's Day come from?

It gained popularity in 2010 through the American sitcom Parks and Recreation. The leading character Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, created the concept.

In episode 16 of series 2, Knope brought together her lady friends to celebrate ladies on Galentine's Day.

She called it “only the best day of the year” and said “my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it, breakfast style."

When is Galentine's Day?

Knope celebrated it on February 13 (the day before Valentine's Day), but it is not so strictly marked here in the UK.

Any gathering of women to celebrate the so-called fairer sex around Valentine's Day can therefore be considered a Galentine's celebration.

How do I celebrate Galentine's Day?

Get flowers for the key women in your life — but not roses
Get flowers for the key women in your life — but not roses

Send flowers … that aren't roses

Online florist Bloom & Wild's research into buying patterns around Valentine's Day revealed a high percentage of female-to-female gifting — about 35-40 per cent in 2015.

“Everyone thinks of Valentine's Day as a time where men buy flowers for their female significant others," said Bloom & Wild founder Aron Gelbard, “but actually we found that there was a high participation in the Valentine's market of female-to-female buyers.

"Often that's not women buying flowers for another woman they're in a relationship with, but somebody that they want to express some sort of care for."

“We [found] that Valentine's Day can be a time that is quite lonely," he continued, “in particular for women not in relationships. That [might be] because they're elderly and their partners aren't around any more, or because they're single.

"It's actually a time where a lot of women in particular tend to be very thoughtful and use the occasion to buy flowers for women who might not be receiving them from a significant other."

Bloom & Wild's research also found hat unlike men — who typically choose traditional red roses — women will send “softer” bouquets such as pink roses and alstroemerias. These typically cost between £25 and £30.

Get together for a girls’ night in … or out

It might have been coined in recent years, but Galentine's Day has been around for a while. What proves this? Its depictions on the small and silver screens.

For instance, a 1995 episode of Friends, The One with the Candy Hearts, involved Rachel, Monica and Phoebe getting together on Valentine's Day to burn mementoes of past lovers. They ended up causing a house fire

And let's not forget that scene in Sex and the City: The Movie (2008), where Carrie and Miranda go out for dinner on February 14 and have a colossal row in a restaurant.

Thankfully, real-life Galentine's gatherings tend to be happier affairs. Lucy, 30, from London says they're “the best", recalling a particular year where “two girlfriends and I drank prosecco and sloe gin while watching Bridget Jones, eating whole pizzas to ourselves — bliss."

The focus is on platonic relationships and the strong bonds between women, rather than romantic love.

Activities may include gift exchanges, sharing positive affirmations, and simply enjoying each other's company.