The idea of an International Day of Happiness was introduced to the United Nations back in 2011 by the advisor Jayme Illien, along with the United Nations’ New Economic Paradigm project and “happytalism”, which aim to change the way nations approach economic growth by focusing on “happytalism” over capitalism.
The day was founded in July of 2012 and was first observed in 2013. Its celebration is an acknowledgement of the importance and desirability of happiness in human life, and the need that happiness be incorporated into public policy.
Despite being a challenging concept to define, there is a general consensus that happiness broadly covers two key areas – how people feel in the present moment and how satisfied people are with their lives overall. Consequently, happiness can range from a sudden rush of intense emotion (such as joy or euphoria) to a much calmer and steadier sense of contentment.
For ideas on how to celebrate International Day of Happiness this year, check out the following websites:
The Festival of Hanukah commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after a group of Jewish warriors defeated the occupying Greek armies, about 150 years before Jesus’ birth.
Central to the celebrations is the story that the Temple menorah (seven-lamped candelabrum) miraculously burned for over a week – even though they thought the had only one day’s worth of ritually pure oil left.
They used the extra week to purify themselves and were therefore able to maintain the sacred space.
The Bible teaches us to love peace and to live in harmony. In the Beatitudes from The Sermon on the Mount, Jesus blessed the peacemakers and mentioned that they will be called “Sons of God” (Matthew 5:9).
This is one of the reasons why I think that everyone, and Christians in particular, should observe Conflict Resolution Day, a global event intended to promote the concept of peaceful conflict resolution.
The ACR logo of the tree was designed as a symbol to celebrate growth in Conflict Resolution. The first year, start small, but, just like the tree, the seeds you plant one year, will continue to grow and blossom each year.
Conflict Resolution Day was conceived in 2005 by the ACR to:
Promote awareness of mediation, arbitration, conciliation and other creative, peaceful means of resolving conflict;
Promote the use of conflict resolution in schools, families, businesses, communities, governments and the legal system;
Recognize the significant contributions of (peaceful) conflict resolvers; and
Obtain national synergy by having celebrations happen across the country and around the world on the same day.
October has become a time to promote and celebrate peaceful conflict resolution practices worldwide. Dedicated dispute resolution practitioners are helping to educate the public about mediation and other innovative conflict management processes.
The fourth of July is celebrated in the US as Independence Day. The tradition of Independence Day goes back to 18th century when the Continental Congress in the US voted in favor of independence on July 2nd.
Two days later, the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson, was adopted by delegates from the 13 colonies.
From 1776 to the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.
Established in 1972 by the United Nations General Assembly at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment, World Environment Day is observed every year on the 5th of June.
A holiday aimed to inform people about environmental issues and offer them the opportunity to change the habits they have that are affecting the environment and work towards change, World Environmental Day has grown to become a global platform for discussions about the environment, spreading awareness of the effects of human activity.
Since its creation, World Environmental Day is celebrated in over 100 countries and each year, a theme is chosen to help draw attention to a particular concern.
The theme for 2020 is “Bio Diversity”, and will be hosted in Colombia in partnership with Germany. Colombia is one of the largest “Megadiverse” nations in the world to hold 10% of the planet’s biodiversity. Since it is part of the Amazon rain forest, Colombia ranks first in bird and orchid species diversity and second in plants, butterflies, freshwater fish, and amphibians.
A non-religious version of Valentine’s Day, Dragobete is a festive Romanian holiday, observed on the 24th of February, that is associated with love and the arrival of spring. Dragobete is an observance and not a national public holiday in Romania.
According to myth, Dragobete was the son of Baba Dochia (“baba” means old lady in Romanian), a woman who marks the return of spring. The day is also known as “the time when birds are betrothed” because during this time of year, birds generally build their nests and mate.
In the countryside there is an old tradition with girls and boys going into the woods to pick flowers. When they return home, the traditions says that boys were running after girls to kiss them. If the girl liked the boy she lets him kiss her. There is a saying in Romania that makes a lot of sense regarding this: “Dragobete kisses the girls” (“Dragobete pupă fete”).
Learn more about Dragobete by visiting the sites linked below: