The Real Reason Women Celebrate 'Galentine's Day' On February 13

Have a celebration that would make Leslie Knope jealous.

Last updated on Feb 11, 2023

group of friends celebrating Galentine's Day Kamil Macniak / Shutterstock

Whether you're single by choice or circumstance, Valentine's Day can feel overwhelming for those who aren't currently involved in a romantic relationship.

But rather than dreading February 14, you can get ahead of the game by celebrating your love for your very best friends the day before — aka Galentine's Day!

What (and when) is Galentine’s Day?

Galentine’s Day, celebrated on February 13, was first introduced in the 16th episode of season 2 of the hit sitcom, “Parks and Recreation.”


The 2010 episode, titled “Galentine’s Day,” begins with Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, standing around a table with her closest friends and her mom. Her best friend, Ann Perkins, is also there, of course, as well as her co-workers Donna Meagle and April Ludgate, played by Rashida Jones, Retta, and Aubrey Plaza, respectively.

Knope gifts each of them a bouquet of hand crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait made from crushed bottles of each woman’s favorite diet soda, and a personalized 5,000-word essay on why they are all so awesome.

“What is Galentine’s Day?" she explains. "Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. 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.”


And from that moment on, an un-official holiday was born! And since then, women have celebrated each other and their powerful female friendships.

RELATED: 40 Best Leslie Knope Quotes From 'Parks And Rec'

Galentine’s Day has since become an established celebration of friendship and lady friends on the day just before Valentine’s Day, which as well know, celebrates romantic relationships.


While Galentine's Day can be celebrated at a restaurant, it’s probably best to keep it small and private, especially this year. Hey, better safe than sorry.

Whether you’re single or taken doesn’t matter. This is a time to show your single or couples besties how special they are to you — with gifts, personalized messages, a homemade brunch, or even a low-key night spent playing games together.

If you want to give it that Leslie Knope touch, you can add waffles, whipped cream, and/or anything with sugar to your Galentine’s Day party! Just be sure you don’t have salad on the menu (it’s Leslie’s least favorite food).

How to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

In the spirit of love and ladies celebrating ladies, consider these ideas for your Galentine’s Day celebration.


1. Host a karaoke night.

If you don’t have a karaoke machine, you can always check out videos on YouTube. Have the girls gather ‘round while you bust out your favorite tunes.

2. Have a dance party.

Check out “Just Dance” on the Nintendo Switch, or just play some music you all love and dance around the living room.

3. Give each other manis and pedis.

Nothing says best friends like painting each other’s nails.

4. Treat your bestie to lunch.

Instead of going out to eat, order takeout while you gossip and reminisce on the couch.

RELATED: 25 Fun Things To Do With Your Single Friends On Valentine's Day

5. Send each other a gift.

Even better, you can send her a gift at work. Who doesn't love to receive flowers or chocolate for Valentine's Day while letting the whole office see?


6. Send each other 'what I love about you' notes.

This is your chance to tell her how much you love her brilliance, kindness, sense of humor and more. And you'll get to hear the same from her.

7. Do a Secret St. Valentine’s gift exchange.

Just like Secret Santa, have each girl in your squad pick a name. Then, open the gifts up in front of each other to see what you got.

RELATED: What Guys Think Of Valentine’s Day, As Explained By 21 Men

8. Send out actual valentines.

Buy cards, or even a box of valentines, just like you did in elementary school, and send them to all your girlfriends. You can even include some candy for a nice touch.

9. Send a message using candy hearts.

Those candy hearts may not be tasty to eat, but you can talk to each other using the messages on the front. Then, drop them in glasses of champagne!


10. Have a girl power movie marathon.

Some favorites include “Legally Blonde,” “A League of Their Own,” “Whip It,” or “Miss Congeniality.”

11. Have a game night.

Pull out all your favorite board games for a game night to remember. Keep the bubbly flowing for even more fun.

12. Go for a hike.

Take the day off and do something adventurous or fun outdoors. Immerse yourself in nature together for the ultimate bonding experience.

13. Go shopping.

There’s nothing quite like retail therapy. Because a new pair of shoes always makes the day better.

RELATED: 55 Epic Songs About Friendship To Share With Your Best Friends

14. Get a massage.

Depending on whether your nearest massage location is operating fully, you and your closest friend can get a couples massage. Relax and enjoy each other’s company.


15. Get Tarot readings.

Better yet, buy a deck of your own and give each other readings.

16. Reminisce about your worst dates.

Pop open a bottle of wine and laugh for hours about all those weirdos you’ve dated in the past.

17. Do a good deed.

Commit to a day of good deeds, and then share the stories with each other over dinner.

18. Have a spa day.

If massages aren’t your thing, have the girls over to pamper yourselves. That means facials, foot scrubs, and more.

19. Do a clothing swap.

This is a great way to refresh your wardrobe. Have everyone bring over clothing they no longer want, and switch and swap to your heart’s content.

RELATED: 111 Funny Valentine's Day Quotes For Singles Awareness Day


20. Volunteer at a pet shelter.

If your local shelter is taking volunteers, spend some time with the animals there. You may even end up with a new friend of your own.

21. Have a potluck dessert party.

Forget dinner! Why not have dessert for a meal? Have everyone bring a dessert of their choice, and then set out the platters for all to enjoy.

22. Have a marshmallow fight.

The boys have paintballs and girls have marshmallows. Have your friends bring a bag of stale marshmallows, and then shoot them at each other!

23. Update or create online dating profiles.

For your single friends, now is a great time to help her with her dating profile. You can even take new photos for her that day!


24. Host a flower arranging event.

Get a bunch of flowers from a florist or grocery store. Then, ask everyone to bring a vase and spend the evening with wine, conversation and flowers.

25. Have a wine tasting party.

Rather than spending the night at a winery, host your friends. Everyone can bring a bottle of their choice, and then taste each one.

26. Have an arts and crafts party.

Host a craft party — even macaroni crafts — with prizes for the most outlandish, most creative, or any other categories.

RELATED: 100 Happy Valentine's Day Quotes For Your Very Best Friends

27. Host a dream date party.

Just like when you were younger and dreamed about cute boys, have everyone bring a picture of their favorite celebrity and a story of their ideal date with them. The best story wins a prize!


28. Have a photoshoot.

Whether it’s photos for a dating profile or professional setting, get all glammed up and take photos of each other.

29. Cook a meal together.

So what if you aren’t professional chefs? You can still serve it up like a 5-star restaurant would.

30. Do a ‘chore’ for each other.

There are all kinds of ways to feel loved, and sometimes getting help doing a chore is a great way to do this. Do your friend’s laundry or clean her kitchen!

RELATED: 150 Inspiring Friendship Quotes To Show Your Best Friends How Much You Love Them

Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce and life coach. Her writing on marriage and divorce has appeared on MSN, Yahoo!, and eHarmony, among others.