The founder of this event is the Frenchman Atanaz Perifan ( Atanase Périfan ), who back in 1990 created the association « Paris d'Amis » in the 17th arrondis of Paris with friends, in order to strengthen social ties and mobilize people to combat isolation. Association members collected things and means for neighbors who found themselves in difficult situations, helped people find work, etc.
Perifan expressed the idea of creating this holiday with the following words: « Let's make this fantastic event an occasion to celebrate together the spirit of unity and cohesion, which is so dear to all of us! ». His optimistic words only confirm that in recent decades, trends in disunity, self-reliance and loneliness, as well as weakening social ties have become noticeable in Europe.
The first holiday — Neighborhood Day — the association held back in 1999 for residents of its 17th district, more than 10 thousand residents from 800 houses took part in it, and since then it was decided to hold it annually. The very next year, the celebration of the Day acquired a national scale, and since 2003 — European, when Belgium joined France. By 2019, the holiday attracted more than 1,450 partners in more than 50 participating countries, and the number of residents participating in the holiday exceeded 30 million people.
The organizers of the holiday are convinced that celebrating Neighborhood Day is very simple — you need to notify all the neighbors in time, gather in some convenient place for all ( in the house, on the street, in the garden ) and sit together at one large table, having a universal feast. It is important that each participant in the holiday bring a treat to their own cooking to the common table and take a good mood with them.
Merry story « Forgive me, neighbors! »