It’s an unofficial holiday, growing in popularity, and it started off as a joke.

Galentine’s Day, which is a day to celebrate female friendship, is held the day before Valentine’s Day on February 13th.  It was made famous after an episode on NBC’s hit TV show ‘Parks and Recreation’ in 2010. Amy Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, got a group of her friends together over brunch to celebrate each other’s friendship, while having drinks and engaging in great conversation.

“Every Feb. 13th my lady friends and I leave our husbands and boyfriends at home and we just come and kick it breakfast style,” said Poehler on the show.

Since the airing of the episode, countless women have joined the day’s festivities as a number of Galentine’s day events from Boston to here in Northeast Ohio are held nationwide.

The joke holiday is becoming the real deal. The greetings card company, Hallmark, is even advertising cards on its website.

At Yuzu in Lakewood, the business is holding its second annual Galantine’s day celebration. The company expected more than 100 people to show up to celebrate friendship with their best pals.

For a group of Kent State medical students, it was a much needed pick me up after a round of exams.  

“Misery loves company,” said Brennan Reardon, a sophomore student at Kent State’s School of Podiatric Medicine. “The last week has been we needed this."

The ladies have been stressed because of school. Studying has taken up most of their time. And having a good night out with friends is difficult to do because of it.

Reardon says it’s Galentine’s day is a good reminder to make time for friends. She says having a good friend is just as important as finding the love of your life.

"They understand me more than my boyfriend ever can right now. More than my family ever can [because of ] what I’m going through with school,” Reardon said.

Andrea Grmovsek and Emily Nowak have been friends for more than 10 years. They both have boyfriends. They also have full-time jobs. Nowak says the growing unofficial holiday is empowering.

"Women we need to stick together. We need to celebrate each other. We are important,” she said. “We need to sometimes show we love each other. We don’t do that too often."

On a day before the day of love, women are finding out the true value of a friend can never truly be measured.

 “My girlfriends. They are my soulmates,” she said. “It’s good to have as many around as you can.”