The 20th March is celebrated as the International Day of Happiness after being established by the United Nations General Assembly on 28 June 2012. Its aim is to recognise the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings. As happiness is very subjective and can mean many different things to different people, it’s a word that we often hear thrown around and a concept which is often used in the wrong ways. Advertisers would have us believe that happiness will come from buying a certain product, whilst celebrities would have us believe that happiness comes from fame and beauty. Jeremy Clarkson may have us believe that happiness comes from a fast car, while over at Nestlé they would have us believe that happiness will come from eating one of their chocolate bars. As well as personal reflection of what happiness means to us as individuals, the day hopes to sew the seeds for a happier society, “which requires action at all levels – not just from political leaders and institutions but also from us as individual citizens. When we do things to bring happiness to others, everyone benefits.”

This year’s happy spokesman is American rapper Pharrell Williams, who is partnering with the United Nations Foundation to celebrate the International Day of Happiness. His hit single ‘Happy’ was released last November and topped charts around the world. The catchy song is also the inspiration behind the website 24hoursofhappy.com which is advertised as the ‘world’s first 24 hour music video’. The video consists of the song repeated with various familiar faces dancing around Los Angeles and miming along. Williams himself appears on it 24 times but there are also cameos from Kelly Osbourne, Jimmy Kimmel, Steve Carell and Jamie Foxx. It appears the song and the accompanying video has spawned much happiness around the world. There are many cover videos on YouTube in which people from different cities dance along to the song, showcasing their own happiness. The best clips will be chosen on the day and will feature on the official UN website. Furthermore, in conjunction with the day, Williams is also encouraging fans to make a donation to the Central Emergency Response Fund, which was established to help the UN and its partners provide fast and reliable humanitarian assistance.

We don’t think we’ll be dancing to the song here at BLS but hope everyone has a happy day all around the world.

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