We know each year that Valentine's Day will arrive on Feb. 14. But in recent years, we've also been able to celebrate the day before, thanks to Parks and Recreation. Feb. 13 was dubbed Galentine's Day by the show's lovable Leslie Knope. What's Galentine's Day? ("Oh, it's only the best day of the year!") It's the awesomely feminist counterpart to Valentine's Day.
In Season 2 of Parks and Rec, Knope, played by Amy Poehler, introduced us to the tradition of celebrating Galentine's Day. As Valentine's Day is meant for celebrating our spouses or romantic partners, Galentine's Day is all about telling our best gal pals how much we love and appreciate having them in our lives. As Knope explained on the show:
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.
While Valentine's Day often gets a bad rap for being all about consumerism and buying gifts for people that feel a little hollow and meaningless, Galentine's Day is a chance to give your best friend forever a personal gift that they'll not only use, but cherish. In the first ever Galentine's Day episode of Parks and Rec, Knope gives each of her dear female friends several homemade gifts, including a 5,000-word essay for each of them detailing why they're amazing.
Amy Poehler, who brought the character of Leslie Knope to life, also runs a great website called Smart Girls. In the spirit of Poehler's most well-known character and her brilliant concept for a feminist celebration of loving the ladies in our lives, Smart Girls celebrates each year on Twitter with the hashtag (of course) #GalentinesDay.
Galentine's celebrations are particularly special this year in the aftermath of the Women's March on Washington, and feminist rallying cries that have emerged from an otherwise tense and patriarchal political landscape ("She was warned — nevertheless, she persisted.")
There's really no right or wrong way to celebrate the holiday, and people have already started taking to Twitter to share their gifts and brunch plans (in homage to Knope — whose real true love is waffles).
In addition to celebrating the women in our lives, many people on Twitter are also taking Galentine's Day as an opportunity to support women that they don't know: including journalists, social justice warriors, and advocates who have been on the front lines defending constitutional rights for women.
It's pretty inspiring to see, and because the character of Leslie Knope is a devoted government employee herself, that makes the celebration of Galentine's Day in our modern world just that much sweeter.