March 20 is celebrated as the International Day of Happiness and in times like these, happiness is needed more than ever. The day was founded and conceptualized by the United Nations, soon after the General Assembly recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal.” In 2013, the International Day of Happiness was celebrated for the first time ever, with an objective to create a happier world. This year, the celebration should have been modest. Instead of meeting your friend, it would be better to check Yellow Friday offers and choose something special for your loved ones.

International Day of Happiness: All you need to know

Why is it celebrated?

Besides the fact that UN-recognized happiness as a “fundamental human goal,” March 20 was the choicest date with the vernal equinox, which marks the beginning of spring. While delivering a speech at the World Happiness Summit in 2017, Jayme Illien, the founder of the day, described the vernal equinox as a “universal phenomenon felt by all of humankind.” He further added that it is a “period of renewal and new beginnings, for all,” justifying the date.

Jamie Illen for International Happiness Day.

Jayme Illien, founder of the International Day of Happiness

How did the International Day of Happiness start?

In 2011, Jayme Illien, a UN special advisor and a philanthropist came up with the idea of creating an international event in order to emphasize the pursuit of happiness as a “goal” for all human beings. His initiative was backed by Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the UN at the time as well as all 193 UN member states to make the date an official day of Happiness.

How is the International Day of Happiness celebrated?

Every year there’s a new theme set for the day, and this year’s theme is ‘Happier Together,’ focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us. Celebrated all over the world, there are events organized for the day, followed by uplifting Social Media posts. In 2017’s theme of “global happiness,” these steps were proposed:

  • Wish everyone a happy International Day of Happiness on 20 March.
  • Do what makes you happy.
  • Pledge to spread more happiness in the world.
  • Celebrate by taking part in a happy event.
  • Share your happiness with the world by using hashtags such as #tenbillionhappy and #makeithappy on social media.
  • Promote the UN resolutions that made the International Day of Happiness a reality.
  • Participate in the festivities by hosting an event.
  • Advance the global goals for happiness, such as eliminating poverty and supporting gender equality.
  • Add International Day of Happiness badges to your online channels.

In conclusion, happiness day is celebrated in ways that make you happy, be it by reading a book, dancing, or just by being on your own. Happiness may be a global human right, but it is extremely personal.

Way of celebrating International day of Happiness

How to celebrate International Happiness Day in times of Coronavirus pandemic?

The theme of being “happier together” is now less advisable when social isolation is a survival strategy. In a dystopia-like world today, where Coronavirus has taken thousands of lives, happiness is a farfetched dream. However, it is needed more than ever. A time of crisis is often a time to introspect. So maybe, just maybe, “happier together,” can mean something as simple as being considerate of another human being.

The news of the widespread virus and how it has taken so many lives have shaken the world, but what’s more baffling is how people are treating each other. Rampant racism, greed, and discrimination have taken the center stage along with the virus. People are more scared of people. Basic necessities, including tissues and sanitizers, are getting hoarded by the “haves,” and there is little or nothing left for those with less purchasing power. This International Happiness Day, you could be considerate of those who may actually need your surplus items.

You can also be “happier together,” when you take care of yourself. Washing your hands, ensuring that you are free of the virus before interacting with someone else, are larger humanitarian steps than you fathom.

Happiness Day in the era of pandemic.

It is not the first time you are looking at this picture. This viral image is a representation of how social distancing can help in curbing the spread of the novel virus. While a line of matchsticks is getting burnt, the exclusion of one helps break the chain, preventing other sticks from catching fire. This suggests that the chain of coronavirus infection can be broken if people practice social distancing.

Help yourself, help others and help people get through these challenging times. Soon enough the world will be a better place where we are truly “happier together.”

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