Galentine’s Day: A gender-neutral guide to love beyond labels

While Galentine’s Day is about celebrating your ‘gals’, this blog curates everything you need to know about this super-fun day along with 6 amazing tips to celebrate Galentine’s Day regardless of your sexual identity. Read along!

Galentine’s Day: A gender-neutral guide to love beyond labels

Tuesday February 13, 2024,

7 min Read

Forget the diamonds and forget the roses–February is about more than just romantic love! 

A soirée filled with the clinking of glasses, overflowing with bottles of vino, and an array of delectable food (junk, of course)—all in the company of your closest confidantes. Yes, that’s what Galentine’s Day is all about- raising a toast to the real MVPs in your life: the comrades who stand by you through life's highs and lows, a perfect mix of platonic and romantic love!

However, as the name suggests, Galentine’s Day is the day for your ‘gals’. But don’t be disappointed if you don’t identify as a woman. It’s 2024 and let’s not keep feminism confined to mere social media posts or incomprehensible theories. This blog curates everything you need to know about this super-fun day along with 6 amazing tips to celebrate Galentine’s Day regardless of your sexual identity. Feel free to make the most of this made-up holiday with your gals, chaps, and them! 

silhoutte of friends

How did ‘Galentine’s Day’ originate?

Celebrated on February 13, Galentine’s Day isn’t your typical Hallmark holiday—it wasn’t started by a card company or an online marketplace scheming to empty your wallet. Rather, it boasts a more intriguing origin story, one that's woven with the threads of friendship and fictional brilliance. Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope, the irresistible heroine of Parks and Recreation, single-handedly birthed this celebration of sisterhood over a decade ago.

The genesis of Galentine’s Day can be traced back to season two, episode 16 of Parks and Rec aptly titled “Galentine’s Day". In this iconic episode, Leslie orchestrates a brunch affair with her gals, where waffles and love flow freely. "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 proclaims, encapsulating the essence of the occasion as "ladies celebrating ladies" –"uteruses-before-duderuses" and "ovaries before brovaries."

Since that 2010 episode, Galentine’s Day has transcended the fictional space, infiltrating the collective consciousness and calendars of women everywhere. As The Atlantic reports, it has evolved into a widely recognised pseudo-holiday, even prompting businesses to roll out Galentine’s Day promotions. 

Much like the Indian equivalence of Rani-Vijaylakshmi, Jay-Veeru, Naina-Aditi, Rancho-Farhan-Raju, Kalindi-Avni-Sakshi-Meera, Galentine’s Day is all about a fictional concept turned cultural phenomenon!

Is Galentine’s Day reserved only for singles?

Hold on, who needs a romantic label to celebrate love? 

If you’re single, exploring love's grey areas, recently hopped on a single ship, or stuck in situationship or one-sided love, Galentine’s Day is the perfect day to kick away all the lovey blues. But if you’re happily committed to the significant other of your dreams, this day is also for you! 

Galentine's Day is about expressing your appreciation for the phenomenal friends who enrich your life and make it worth living. So, skip the societal expectations and celebrate this special day in whatever way feels most authentic to your amazing bond, together or solo!

Sure, the rhyming is delightful, but is that all to the G-Day and V-Day connection?

Deeper than playful puns, the positioning of these holidays actually serves an important purpose. Valentine's Day, with its focus on romantic love, can trigger a complex mix of emotions for many individuals, particularly women. Societal norms often define us through our romantic partners, implying that being single somehow equals inadequacy.

By strategically placing Galentine's Day just before Valentine's Day, we're reminded that our worth extends far beyond romantic relationships. It's a powerful message that emphasises the gravity of platonic love. This proximity isn't just a fun coincidence; it's a purposeful counterpoint, reminding us that true fulfilment can come in many forms, not just through romantic partnerships.

How to celebrate Galentine’s Day?

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room: Galentine’s Day might not resonate with everyone, and that's completely fine. However, before you dismiss it entirely, the sentiment of Galentine’s Day is hard not to appreciate. So, why not give it a chance?

The beauty of Galentine’s Day lies in its newness—it’s a blank canvas just waiting for you to paint it with your own unique flair. Without the weight of centuries-old traditions, you have the freedom to create your own rituals and traditions. While Leslie Knope famously champions the waffle and cocktail brunch, here are 6 quirky ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day. Take a look!

A weekend staycation to drive away the Monday scaries

Why not plan a weekend staycation for Galentine’s Day? Skip using vacation days and explore your hometown or a drive to the outskirts with your besties. 

Whether it’s revisiting your favourite local haunts, discovering hidden gems you never knew existed or simply lounging around in each other’s company at a nearby resort, a staycation is a perfect opportunity to indulge in some well-deserved relaxation and quality time together. And who can ignore the fact that there’s something magical about rediscovering the charm of your hometown through the eyes of your best pals?

Books–transcripted version of love

If your team and you are big-time bibliophiles, there’s a high chance of you eyeing any of their books. How about organising a book exchange for Galentine’s Day? 

Round up books you're willing to part with and either establish a monthly exchange or host a Zoom party on the 13th. Keep the book covers visible for browsing, or add a fun twist by wrapping them in gift papers with tantalising clues on the outside. Participants can then choose the mystery books they'd like to receive, adding an extra element of excitement to the exchange!

Party wild, but in pyjamas

While you can hit one of the pubs, how about hosting a pyjama party? After all, sleepovers aren’t just for middle schoolers! 

There's nothing quite like a cosy night in with your besties. Invite your friends to don Valentine-themed pyjamas—whether they're flirty or sweet—and gather everyone for drinks and chaat takeout. Jazz up the evening with fun games for deep conversations and reminiscing about your old days. 

To add to the excitement, organise a gift or card swap for an extra dose of fun and camaraderie!

Virtual bar crawl for long-distance besties

While living in the same city opens countless avenues to celebrating the day, geographical boundaries shouldn’t come in your way, either!

Turn it into an unforgettable occasion by scheduling a few hours for a virtual hangout. Grab your favourite drinks and hop on a video call with your long-distance buddies. To add some excitement, why not all choose the same selection of canned cocktails for a hassle-free and enjoyable experience? 

While it might not equate to the feeling of a traditional bar crawl, at least you can crawl straight into bed afterwards with ease!

Seal your bond with ink

Elevate your Galentine's Day celebration with an unforgettable experience: matching tattoos. You might have got a couple or two with your significant other, but how about getting one with your bestie?

Gather your buddies, choose a symbol or phrase that embodies your unique bond, and get inked! 

From delicate wildflowers to powerful affirmations, the design is yours to choose from. Remember, this permanent expression of friendship signifies more than just a day – it's a lasting testament to the love and laughter you share. 

Send their favourite flowers

While society often paints Valentine’s Day as a time for men to shower their romantic partners with roses, why not switch this trend out and about?

In a woman's life, receiving flowers is almost a given—an expected gesture of affection. But what about men? Beyond occasions like funerals, the vast majority never experience the simple joy of receiving flowers. Surprisingly, studies show that men appreciate floral gestures just as much as women do. Yet, despite this desire, traditional norms persist, with floral deliveries overwhelmingly directed towards women.

Like Miley Cyrus, of course, they can buy themselves flowers, but this Galentine’s Day, gift the favourite flowers to all bros who might not receive flowers otherwise. Let’s bring that change, folks!

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