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Long Island Galentine's Day events for friends

Fictional Feb. 13 holiday inspired by NBC's "Parks and Recreation" still going strong.

Women of Integrity members at the group's 2017

Women of Integrity members at the group's 2017 Galentine's Day celebration at City Cellar in Westbury. Photo Credit: Women Of Integrity Inc. /Shantay Carter

A night of yoga, meditation and wine is being planned in Carle Place to help women cut ties to past lovers and focus on loving themselves.

Another group of women will gather at a restaurant to celebrate the value of female support systems and friendships.

And a paint and sip is scheduled in East Meadow, where women can relax and have drinks while working on their artistic creations.

The events are scheduled to take place later this month as part of Galentine’s Day — a new spin on Valentine’s Day that started as a fictional holiday on the television show, “Parks and Recreation,” but has crossed over into real life.

In the episode, originally aired on NBC in 2010, Leslie (Amy Poehler) throws an annual “Galentine’s Day” party for her female friends on the day before Valentine’s Day. “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,” Leslie says in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst . . . It’s only the best day of the year.”

Ever since the new “holiday” was born on the show it’s been increasing in popularity on Long Island and elsewhere, Galentine’s Day events organizers say. A few feel it’s also gained momentum lately as the #MeToo movement fuels interest in female solidarity and empowerment.

Retailers have also taken notice with Target, Party City, Hallmark, Zazzle.com, oreintaltrading.com, 1-800-flowers and bouqs.com being among those offering gifts and other items advertised and marketed specifically for Galentine’s Day including floral arrangements, greeting cards, invitations, party favors and decorations, balloons, paper plates and napkins, tote bags, socks, wine glasses and wine bottle labels.

Ritch Calvin, a women’s, gender and sexuality studies professor at Stony Brook University, says the embracing of the fictional holiday in real life is bringing the nature of women’s relationships back to where it used to be.

“Women used to do everything together,” Calvin says. “The industrial revolution and the urbanization of society, and the escalation of capitalism brought about the isolation of women from one another — each to their own domestic sphere.”

Calvin says women then “slowly” started becoming more involved with each other again in the 1960s.

“It has accelerated recently, and it is tied to the #MeToo movement,” Calvin adds. “Contemporary communications and social media have really enabled the process. The Women’s March, TimesUp, MeToo . . . all of these are symptoms of change in women’s attitudes about themselves, their role in society, and their relations to one another.”

Shantay Carter, a nurse in Hempstead, is an organizer of the third annual Women of Intergrity Inc. Galentine’s Day celebration to be held Feb. 15 at Passione restaurant in Carle Place. The event has grown from less than 10 participants to 30 and is sold out. It is billed as a “night of food, drinks, sisterhood and games.”

Carter, 40, who is single, says she learned about Galentine’s Day online and thought it was a great idea. Women of Integrity is a nonprofit involved in projects such as prom dress giveaways for girls in need.

“It’s a way of uplifting women with women getting together, celebrating women and enjoying each other’s company without celebrating with a partner,” Carter says of Galentine’s Day. As with many other events marking the occasion, those attending include single and married women.

Christina Amador, 35, is a divorced Rockville Centre resident. She owns a makeup business and is giving a GALentine’s Day event for the first time this year — the workshop with yoga and meditation where women can learn to sever a done romantic relationship that’s holding them back.

Says Amador, “I think women uplifting other women is extremely important.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that Shantay Carter, a nurse in Hempstead and an organizer of the third annual Women of Intergrity, Inc. Galentine’s Day celebration, is married. Also, a caption accompanying the story said the photo was taken in 2018. 

Galentine’s Day Paint and Sip

WHEN|WHERE 8-10 p.m. Feb. 12 at Pinot’s Palette, 2557 Hempstead Turnpike, East Meadow

INFO 516-390-8740, pinotspalette.com/eastmeadow

COST $38 includes supplies

Roses and Rosé GALentine’s Day Workshop

WHEN|WHERE 6:30-9:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at One Sound Body, 226 Westbury Ave., Carle Place

INFO 917-214-4444, eventbrite.com

COST $60 includes yoga, wine and snacks

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