Move over, Valentine's Day. Galentine’s Day is on many a radar this year.
The unofficial holiday — made famous by the American TV show Parks and Recreation — takes place annually on February 13. Whereas Valentine’s Day celebrates romantic relationships, Galentine’s Day acknowledges and emphasises another important relationship in women’s lives: female friendships.
So if you’re new to the occasion, here’s everything you need to know about it and how to celebrate in the UAE.
How did Galentine’s Day start?
Galentine’s Day is the name of episode 16 in season two of Parks and Recreation, in which Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) celebrates her female friends by planning a brunch complete with presents, hearts and declarations of love.
“What’s Galentine’s Day? It’s only the best day of the year,” Leslie says in the episode. “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. Ladies celebrating ladies.”
Since the episode was first shown in 2010, businesses in the US have taken to celebrating Galentine’s Day with themed gifts and special deals. This year, the UAE is offering Galentine's Day deals galore (more on this below).
Awareness of the occasion has spread, with #GalentinesDay trending on social media as women around the world, single and in relationships, acknowledge the strength of sisterhood on the day.
Ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day
One of the easiest ways to celebrate is by doing a gift swap. After all, who doesn’t want to share some of their favourite things with some of their favourite people? The swap can be themed (such as make-up or books) or even akin to Secret Santa, with a set budget.
Host a party
Celebrate your fave female friends by hosting a party. One idea is to watch a film with a strong lady lead or female ensemble while bonding over food and fun conversations. Some movie recommendations include Pitch Perfect, Someone Great and Bridesmaids.
Another way to celebrate is by doing something active in a group setting such as bowling, a dance class or paintballing, all activities available in the UAE. Other ideas include spending a pool or spa day, taking a trip to a trampoline park or safari, or even doing a yoga or spin class together.
For those who are ready to celebrate for more than one day, consider taking a weekend holiday with girlfriends. Whether it’s a staycation or flying to a nearby location, there are plenty of options when it comes to an overnight or weekend trip in or from the UAE.
Galentine’s Day deals in the UAE
Cinq Mondes Spa at Hyde Hotel Dubai
Cinq Mondes Spa at Hyde Hotel Dubai is offering a Two-to-Tango 90-minute treatment for ladies at Dh999 (down from Dh1,300 for a couple's treatment) throughout February. Pick from a sleep ritual, detox facial or yoga facial massage.
W Lounge at Abu Dhabi
Enjoy the night at W Lounge at W Abu Dhabi with a Sipz & Glam event on February 10. Women who buy one beverage will drink free for the rest of the night as well as get 20 per cent off the food menu. There will also be live entertainment.
Screening Room at Studio One Hotel
Change into pyjamas and watch a chick flick while munching on popcorn and pizza and sipping drinks at the private cinema at Studio One Hotel. The deal is from February 10 to 13, and costs Dh299 for two. Those who book will also get a complimentary voucher for an hour of karaoke (redeemable on their next visit) as well as a goody bag.
Mogao in Dubai Silicon Oasis
The pan-Asian restaurant is offering unlimited house beverages for women, on February 11, 12 and 13, from 7pm to 10pm. There is also 20 per cent off on food with a minimum spend of Dh100 per person. A DJ will be on the decks.