A photo of a person putting together a floral arrangement for Palentine's Day

How to celebrate Palentine’s Day in Toronto this week

GAL-entine’s…PAL-entine’s…(not Valentine’s), you get it? This subversive off-calendar holiday, referred to by mass media as Galentine’s Day after Amy Poehler’s beloved Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope, is a day for self love, friendship love, family love and any other kind of love outside the bounds of the traditionally celebrated romantic kind. Canonically speaking, in Parks and Rec, this celebration is scheduled for Feb. 13, though many celebrate these sentiments on V-day too. The term “Palentine’s” rose in popularity as a more gender-neutral term for people of all genders to celebrate all the platonic love in their lives, and now, Toronto is full of events to celebrate the holiday.

Where did the day come from? 

If you’re not familiar with the exact episode in which the Galentine’s Day and Palentine’s Day trend started, it’s ready to watch on Netflix, and the title of the episode is also Galentine’s Day (episode 16 of season 2.)

Leslie Knope brings her girlfriends together for brunch and gifts each of them a bag with a bouquet of hand-crocheted flower pens, a mosaic portrait of each of them made from the crushed bottles of their favourite diet soda and a personalized 5,000 word essay of why they’re all so awesome.

“Oh, it’s only the best day of the year,” she 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. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.”

Who is Galentine’s and Palentine’s Day for?

Despite the gendered nature of the term “Galentine’s,” it’s not just for women. Cosmopolitan says, “Despite its name, anyone and everyone can celebrate Galentine’s Day. At its gooey heart, Galentine’s Day is a celebration of friendship and the people who stick by your side as romantic relationships come and go.”

Those who prefer a gender-inclusive alternative may refer to the celebration as “Palentine’s Day” or “pal’s day.”

Ways to celebrate Palentine’s Day

Enjoy a Mamma Mia! sing-along with friends

Celebrate Galentine’s Day on Saturday with a special sing-along screening of everyone’s favourite musical, Mamma Mia! This is an open-captioned screening for accessibility and sing-along needs at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema — grab a bottle of wine with friends and go all-out.

Watch Flashdance with your pals

Revue Cinema is celebrating Flashdance‘s 40th anniversary with a special Galantine’s Day screening of the film on Monday. The movie, starring Jennifer Beals, is a classic and would make for a pretty fun evening out with friends.

Paint, sip and be merry

What better way to spend the afternoon on Galentine’s Day than some wine, some art, some music and some photo ops? Selfie Studio Toronto is hosting a paint and sip night that includes paint and a canvas, glasses of wine and access to the studio’s selfie stations for you and your friends to take tipsy photos in together.

Keep it canon!

On TikTok, the hash tag #galentinesday depicts scenes that look a lot like the original Galentine’s day modeled by Leslie Knope: friends showering each other with gifts and good food.

@kaitlynbeattyy Choose your fighter????? #cocktailnight? #galentinesday #vday ♬ ultimate vibes – morgan hardy//

Have a self-directed photoshoot or a photoshoot with friends

@indianaboes @teddiehart @cassiediamonddd @caroline_tuckerrr @emberjohnsonn @kathleenhixson @bella_serrano #galentinesday #valentinesday #valentinesphotoshoot ♬ L O V E – Michael Bublé

Commission professional portraits to capture images of your loved ones

@embattaglini on Instagram is a talented documentary film photographer in Toronto who is accepting commissions.

Allot self care time

@aasian every friday, i do a ✨self care day✨ #selfcareroutine #selfcaretiktok #manicureroutine #selflove ♬ original sound – djlex

Make a nice meal

@themoodyfoody dinner for two ? #foodtok #yummy #easyrecipes #pasta #dinnerdate #blackgirlluxury ♬ original sound – TC

Purchase a floral arrangement as a special gift for yourself or loved ones

Emma of @succulent.slut666 in Toronto is selling miracle romance arrangements to be delivered on Feb. 14. You can email info@succulentslut.com for ordering information.