Lifestyle & Belief

UN sponsors first ever 'International Day of Happiness'


Jimmy Crombie laughs as he has his picture taken on March 29, 2011 in Birdsville, Australia.


Mark Kolbe

Everyone, you have to be happy today. Why? Because it's the official International Day of Happiness! That was easy.

No, not really. This holiday isn't about getting in touch with your inner, annoyingly positive self. It was actually created by the United Nations last year as a way to promote public policies that increase happiness.

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In the official resolution creating the holiday, the UN said that March 20 should recognize "the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples."

The initiative for Happiness Day came from the Kingdom of Bhutan, which adopted a Gross National Happiness Index as a way to measure its people's prosperity, as The New York Times reported.

So no, you don't have to be happy to celebrate the holiday. But if you're a lawmaker, you should create some policies that improve the quality of life for the people in your country.