Galentine’s Day is a fictional holiday turned real-life celebration of female friendship. Created by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, it has turned into a cultural phenomenon that women celebrate together the day before Valentine’s Day.
In Parks and Rec, Knope celebrates Galentine’s Day by bringing her gal pals to brunch. She gives each of them hand-knitted flower pens, a portrait made out of the crushed cans of their “favorite diet soda” and a letter detailing her favorite things about them.
This sweet display of friendship has taken off and now women are having their own celebrations outside of the fictional context of the show. With the hullabaloo of midterms, not everyone can celebrate Galentine’s exactly as Leslie Knope does, but there’s still plenty students can do to celebrate their female friends.
Whether cooking together or going out, brunch is always a good way to celebrate. Write some notes to your friends, stock up on pancakes and spend Feb. 13 with the gals in your life.
Off the Waffle, in both Eugene and Portland, is hosting Galentine’s Day events where $1 of every Galentine’s waffle special sold will benefit Womenspace, a nonprofit that works to educate about domestic violence and abuse. Womenspace is an organization that many staff members at Off the Waffle have been involved with, according to Callie Johnson, the community manager at the downtown location.
“When you think about the fact that every nine seconds, one woman in the U.S. is a victim of intimate partner violence, it makes sense to throw our support behind an organization that is so committed to advocating for, empowering and protecting those affected by that statistic,” Johnson said.
Not only will Off the Waffle have a waffle special for the day, but it will also have mimosas and a photobooth in the lobby. Omer Orian, co-owner of the waffle joint, said they expect about 100 people show up.
“Hopefully this Galentine’s will be a start of a tradition for many families and friends, where that kind of celebration of the women in their lives becomes a regular thing,” Johnson said. She also said that they plan to hold the event again next year due to the strong response they have received.
The Parks and Recreation-based holiday is becoming more than just a cultural reference. It’s now a cultural touchstone for women to celebrate each other. Whether that means all-out Knope-style celebration or a day in with friends, Galentine’s Day is here to stay.
As Leslie Knope says of Galentine’s Day, “It’s only the best day of the year.”