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Galentine’s Day

gal-uhn-tahyns dey ]

What is Galentine's Day?

Observed on February 13, the day before Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day celebrates platonic friendships, usually among women. It originated on the show Parks and Recreation.

Related words

bosom buddy, gurlfriend, Festivus, National Wine Day, Valentine’s Day emoji, best friend

Where does Galentine’s Day come from?

Character Leslie Knope from TV show Parks and Rec

On February 11, 2010, the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation released an episode called “Galentine’s Day” (Season 2, Episode 16). In this episode, the effervescent and earnest lead character Leslie Knope explained the made-up holiday Galentine’s Day: “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” The word galentine itself blends gal and valentine.

Since the episode, Galentine’s Day has expanded into the broader popular culture. Some actual Galentine’s Day celebrations involve getting together with friends to exchange small gifts and eat brunch, especially waffles, a favorite of Knope’s character on Parks and Recreation.

One 2017 New York Post op-ed called out the “rebranding” and commercializing of Galentine’s Day. According to writer Hailey Eber, making Galentine’s Day mainstream takes the fun and sincerity of “eschewing Valentine’s Day” out of it. But as Megan Garber wrote for The Atlantic, the “normalizing” of Galentine’s Day is a “subversive” action that should be celebrated.

Examples of Galentine’s Day

happy galentine's day to the amazing and strong women in my life thx for being such wonderful inspirations to better myself every day ily - face blowing a kiss emoji - heart with arrow emoji
@catswithbenefts, February 13, 2017
Every day can be Galentine’s Day if you want it to be. Surround yourself with positive people who know their passions, who don’t apologize for their decisions, and who don’t humor the haters.
Kathleen Smith, The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal, 2016

Who uses Galentine’s Day?

While Galentine’s Day is more popular among women, the holiday itself can also include, as long as the relationship is non-romantic, male and other nonbinary friends.

Galentine’s Day quotes

Just as one can be someone’s valentine on Valentine’s Day, so one can be a galentine on Galentine’s Day, e.g., “Will you be my galentine?” As such, a galentine is a playful, affectionate term for a close friend. Galentine is also sometimes used as a blend of gay and valentine and is not to be confused with galantine, a fish dish.

Here are some more fun phrases from the Galentine’s Day queen herself, Leslie Knope, for celebrating the holiday and humorously complimenting your friends:

 

  • “What’s Galentine’s Day? Oh, it’s only the best day of the year.”
  • “Uteruses before duderuses … Ovaries before brovaries.”
  • “We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”
  • “If there’s a law against friendship, then lock me up.”
  • “Do it. Fierce. Power.”
  • “I am a Goddess, a glorious female warrior.”
  • “You shut your mouth, you have all the strengths.”
  • “You poetic and noble land-mermaid.”
  • “You rainbow-infused space unicorn.”
  • “You’re a genius! Your brain is almost as perfect as your face.”
  • “You’re a beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox.”
  • “You beautiful, naïve, sophisticated newborn baby.”

Galentine’s Day branding

Galentine’s Day has become widely used by brands to sell products marketed for women, particularly self-care products or gifts. In January 2017, Target curated items under a special Galentine’s Day section on its website. The items were mostly cooking appliances or food, DVDs of romantic comedies, and crafting activities. Other brands like Shari’s Berries and Penguin Books also jumped on board in 2017, using the hashtag #GalentinesDay to market products on February 13. Lifestyle blogs also publish articles explaining how to throw Galentine’s Day parties.

Celebrities have also joined in the festivities. In 2017, Blake Lively teamed up with cosmetics brand L’Oreal to throw an Instagram-ready Galentine’s Day party, and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda created a Galentine’s Day playlist for his followers on Spotify.

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Note

This is not meant to be a formal definition of Galentine’s Day like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Galentine’s Day that will help our users expand their word mastery.