March 20th

International Day of Happiness -

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March 20th of every year is a unique day known as the International Day of Happiness. This worldwide event, started by the United Nations in 2012, underlines the significance of happiness in our lives. The event prompts us that the main goal of human life is to achieve personal happiness and contentment, rather than merely focusing on economic development.

On this particular day, we are encouraged to stay positive and share our happiness with those around us.

History of International Day of Happiness

The United Nations General Assembly created the International Day of Happiness on June 28, 2012. Since 2013, this globally recognized celebration takes place every year on the 20th of March. The proposal for this day was introduced by Bhutan, a nation that has prioritized the importance of national happiness over economic wealth from the early 1970s, consequently developing the Gross National Happiness concept.

Bhutan is renowned for replacing Gross National Product with Gross National Happiness as its primary objective. During the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, Bhutan hosted an influential meeting on “Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm.” The UN General Assembly subsequently passed a resolution acknowledging happiness as a crucial human ambition. It urged a holistic, balanced, and inclusive approach to economic expansion, advocating global happiness and well-being.

The official commemoration of the first International Day of Happiness took place on March 20, 2013. Each year, the United Nations designates a distinctive theme for the day, intended to empower and promote the universal happiness movement.

In 2015, the UN presented 17 Sustainable Development Goals, aiming to eradicate poverty, lessen inequality, and protect the environment – fundamental elements that contribute to well-being and happiness. These global goals have set the theme of each International Day of Happiness since.

The International Day of Happiness is an empowering initiative that acknowledges happiness as an essential human right and objective. It supports the notion that economic expansion needs to be balanced, equitable, and inclusive, promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty and disparities. This approach enables happiness and well-being to thrive globally.

International Day of Happiness Timeline

First International Day of Happiness

The United Nations first celebrated this day to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.

Focuses on relationships

The theme of International Day of Happiness focused on making connections with others.

Small, Smurfs & Big Goals campaign

The Smurfs joined forces with the United Nations for a campaign to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the International Day of Happiness.

Happy Planet

The Day focused on how a ‘Happy Planet’ index could provide a vision of progress that is grounded in the experience of the world’s citizens.

Happier Together

It was about focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us.

Happiness For All, Together

To increase and spread the happiness in the face of a global pandemic

Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind

This theme was a response to the ongoing global challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ideas to Celebrate International Day of Happiness

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Spread Joy with Random Acts of Kindness

Initiate small acts of kindness throughout the day. It can be as simple as giving a genuine compliment, helping someone with their bags, or paying for someone’s coffee in line. Be creative with your acts of kindness, it can spread happiness around and make someone else's day better.

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Host a Happy Party

Invite your friends or family over for a small gathering or set up a virtual party where each one shares what made them happy recently. It can be sharing funny anecdotes or small achievements. Foster a positive environment where everyone can share their joy.

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Practice Self-Love

Taking care of your physical and mental health is an important aspect of happiness. Celebrate this day by doing activities that relax you like yoga, reading a book, having a spa day or meditating. Understanding and loving yourself can result in true happiness.

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A Day of Gratitude

Spend the day reflecting on things you are grateful for. Write them down in a journal or share them with your loved ones. Feeling appreciative can result in feeling happier.

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Create a Joyful Atmosphere at Work

Decorate your workplace with happy quotes, or share happy news. Even at work, you can celebrate this day by promoting positive work environment. Hold a short meeting where everyone shares something positive that happened to them at work recently.

6 Interesting Facts About International Day of Happiness


Involvement of 193 Countries

The UN resolution establishing the International Day of Happiness was endorsed by all 193 member states.


Based on Bhutan’s Concept

It was inspired by Bhutan, a small Himalayan Kingdom, which was the first country to prioritize happiness over economic growth, introducing a measure of Gross National Happiness.


Theme for Yearly Celebrations

Each year, the day is celebrated with a unique theme. For instance, 'Happiness For All' was the theme for 2020.


March 20th Connection

March 20 has been chosen as the Happiness Day because it is the day when the sun crosses the celestial equator – the Earth’s equal day and night – and spring begins in the northern hemisphere.


Recognized By Non-Government Organizations

Multiple international and regional non-government organizations celebrate the day and promote the well-being of people all over the world.


Happiness and Well-being

The day reaffirms that happiness is a fundamental human goal and universal aspiration and that it is also a part of the broader framework of the UN goals, which include ending poverty, reducing inequality, and protecting the planet.

International Day of Happiness FAQs

Next International Day of Happiness Dates

Year Date Day
2023 March 20th Monday
2024 March 20th Wednesday
2025 March 20th Thursday
2026 March 20th Friday
2027 March 20th Saturday
What is the pattern? Every March 20th

International Day of Happiness Word Search

  • Happiness
  • Smile
  • Positivity
  • Wellness
  • Love
  • Peace