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  • Writer's pictureSally

Friendship Month: Celebrate with your Bestie!

A banner with 'Friendship Month: Celebrate with your Bestie' Text

Hey chums, it’s Friendship Month! What, you didn’t know? Well now you do, so go send a message, emoji, gif, meme, anything that’ll let your mates know how much you care! Or get matching tattoos! Read on...

Friendship Month started 10 years ago, when a non-profit society called The Oddfellows founded the event as a means to connect people and forge friendships through charitable support.

The Oddfellows have been around for over 200 years, establishing themselves officially in 1810, however according to their records, Oddfellow fraternities have been around for much longer…

‘The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem’

David Roberts (1796-1864)

… as far back as 587 BC (3) in fact, during the siege of Jerusalem (4) where Judeans were exiled from Babylon. Many formed brotherhoods as a means of support, and such comrade ships have been around ever since.

By the 18th century, fraternal societies were taking the place of declining Old English Trade Unions. Recognised for their generous support with struggling workers, societies such as the Odd Fellows specifically represented fellow craftsmen from all manner of trades.

However, towards the end of the 18th century, suspicions around these societies were on the rise within government as a result of the French Revolution, and consequently organisations like The Oddfellows were considered illegal and forced underground, fuelling the inferences of ‘secret societies’.

The Oddfellows Logo

Persecution within London was such that it forced the Odd Fellows HQ up north to Sheffield, which caused upset amongst members in other areas of the north, so much so that one particular group formed a breakaway society, The Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity, which is the organisation recognised today.

Now, where’s a great place to meet up with mates? The pub of course! Public houses were frequently used as bases for ‘society business’, with members often ‘taking something for the good of the house’, and in order to maintain this equally beneficial trade, landlords often named their pubs after such societies like the Oddfellow, which is still a popular name today.

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Branch Friendly Societies were made legal once again in 1851, by which point the Oddfellows had become the largest and richest friendly society in the world, helped along by the Industrial Revolution where workers joined to ensure protection against illness, injury or death.

42 years on from the legalisation of these societies, and women’s branches were finally established (1893), with equal membership statuses granted five years later (1898) and, 80 years later in 1978, the first female Chairman (Grand Master) was appointed, Dorothy M Merrell.

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A little-known fact about the Oddfellows logo is that the symbols were imperative in the earlier days of the society, as many workers were illiterate, and so using the symbols proved essential in order to communicate. Furthermore, the three links at the very top of the logo stand for Friendship, Love & Truth.

Friendship, Love & Truth

Our artists here at KTREW Tattoo understand the importance of symbols, and how they’re a great way of self-expression and showing support for something you hold close. We see our fair share of such expressive creativity from our clients, none more so than when we get enquiries about matching tattoos.

Tattoos done by @kirstietrew at KTREW Tattoo shop in Birmingham, UK

Matching tattoos are not limited to solely symbols so you can get pretty much get anything. They represent a shared experience, a deep connection, and a lasting commitment to one another. Here are some reasons why matching tattoos have become a popular choice for celebrating Friendship Month:

Permanence and Commitment

Tattoos are permanent, making them a fitting symbol of the enduring nature of friendship. Just as friendships withstand the test of time, so do tattoos. The act of getting inked together signifies a strong commitment to maintaining the bond, no matter where life takes you.

A Shared Story

Each time you look at your matching tattoo, it serves as a reminder of the shared experiences, inside jokes, and adventures you've had with your friend. It's like a secret language that only the two of you understand, deepening your connection.

Support and Solidarity

Matching tattoos can also serve as a source of strength during challenging times. They remind you that you're not alone and that your friend is there to support you through thick and thin.

Creativity and Expression

Tattoos are a form of self-expression, and getting a matching tattoo allows you to express your friendship in a creative and unique way. It's a beautiful art form that captures the essence of your relationship.

To get you started, we have a matching tattoo flash sheet available via Instagram

For general tattoo enquiries, you can reach us via our tattoo enquiry form by clicking here

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