This day shows us that being happy is already a goal to which we aspire as a society.
If you didn’t know that March 20 is the International Day of Happiness, don’t worry. In this article you will discover the story of when it was created, why, and how we currently celebrate it.
This is the International Day of Happiness
To this day, there have been many “March Twenties”; for example, in 1904 the American psychologist Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born, in 1915 German zeppelins bombed Paris during the First World War, and just one year later, in 1916, Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity.
On March 20, 1957, the National Council in Switzerland granted the vote to women, while John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in 1969, the same day that the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.
All these same days of different years have something in common, and that is that unforgettable events occurred in them or that they changed the course of history.
The same date, but already in 2013, there is a day that can also initiate a change in the collective mind of our society; March 20 then became recognized as the International Day of Happiness. But … what is the use of having an International Day of Happiness?
The United Nations (UN) is the body in charge of creating and formalizing the international days that we have throughout the year. And this is done to, in his own words, “raise awareness, raise awareness, draw attention, point out that there is an unsolved problem, an important and pending issue in societies so that, through this awareness, governments and states act and take measures or so that citizens demand it from their representatives ”.
From this we can deduce that, if a day dedicated to happiness has been established, this is clearly an important issue that societies still have pending. Not?
And how can it be then that there was not an International Day of Happiness until just 6 years ago? The reason seems reasonable; and it is that civilization has, since its inception, given priority to solving the questions that required an observation and therefore action in that historical-social moment.
It is for the same reason that we can observe that throughout the different “March twenties”, there has been a systematic resolution of very varied issues, but, and this is very remarkable, always staggered.
To give an example, it would not make sense to have invented the steam engine without first having “discovered” fire, since one thing inexorably depends on the other.
One more step for humanity
In the current 21st century, and more specifically since 2013, we believe we are already prepared to adopt the problem of happiness as something to which attention should be paid.
At last, organizations around the world have realized that it was necessary to formalize the study and dissemination of happiness, and it is thanks to the creation of these so-called International Days that pages and forums in this regard receive hundreds of thousands of visits from people interested in its commemoration.
Therefore, the mere existence of an International Day of Happiness is in essence an acknowledgment that humanity has begun its search for happiness.
Why celebrate happiness?
In my writings and in my lectures I have already criticized enough the fact that “happiness” is seen as a fantastic remedy for all our misfortunes, and above all that it is sold as a colorful product full of smiles and indifferent joy.
So, we will assume that it is a simple coincidence (and not a sociocultural result) that the day for happiness has been constituted on March 20, exactly the day that spring begins (in the northern hemisphere). According to the calculations of the National Astronomical Observatory at 10:58 p.m. (official peninsular time), the birds will already be able to sing, the flowers will be able to begin to bloom, and people will have 24 hours to celebrate our happiness.
But more than focusing on what date happiness is celebrated, we should focus on how it is celebrated. And it is that around the world there are celebrations to commemorate that we are alive, that we are free, that we can be happy … and that it is spring!
The precedent of the Holi Festival
Have you heard of the Holi Festival? It is a festival with religious origins that is celebrated mainly in India and other nearby countries.
Also called the Spring Festival, the original celebration consists essentially of throwing brightly colored powders and colored water at each other, as a symbol of happiness for the arrival of spring, (Mental note from the author: is it that nobody celebrates the arrival of winter? ?) trying to emulate the cheerful colors of the flowers that will be born during the coming season. It is a magical moment, of joy, fun, music and dance, but above all spiritual, since on the eve of the festival, bonfires are lit to commemorate the triumph of “good” over “evil”.
But it is also that the Holi Festival is a celebration of happiness, it has a meaning linked to culture. Perhaps that is why it has become popular internationally. In addition, this year’s Holi Festival is celebrated nothing more and nothing less than on March 20.
Now that we already know some details about The Day of Happiness, we will end up including the International Days as a system for measuring global problems.
According to the UN, having an International Day is very informative because through its impact it is possible to measure the degree of interest that a problem arouses around the world. These days reveal the secret that the days that attract the most attention every year, in Latin America and Spain, are those dedicated to Nelson Mandela, on July 18, Women, on March 8, and Water, on March 22 of that same month. And that is precisely why I have written this article and you are reading it, to spread and raise awareness that we can all (and should) celebrate happiness.
If society is already prepared to celebrate International Women’s Day, it is also ready to celebrate International Day of Happiness. In the end, both serve the same purpose, to create a world a little better.
How will you celebrate the International Day of Happiness? It depends on each of us that this year and those to come, we celebrate happiness, claiming it every March 20, to be able to enjoy it every day of the year.
More twenties of March throughout history
1821: in Portugal, the government declares the Catholic Inquisition abolished.
1873: the Republican National Assembly of Spain approves the abolition of slavery on the island of Puerto Rico.
2016: Barack Obama visits Cuba after 88 years.