The first International Day of Happiness will be marked today to promote the idea that the pursuit of happiness is universal. The day, 20 March was officialy declared by the UN to be observed as the International Day of Happiness.
“How will you celebrate ‘Happiness Day’, the first ever in the world?” Prime Minister Jigmi Y. Thinley asked during a recent press confedrence.
Lyonchhen said “On 20 March, people of Bhutan will come out to the streets to talk, dance, gather and celebrate Happiness. There will be less cars moving about and the people will as well for a day, put a stop to materialistic gatherings.”
He urged that parents should make it a day to bring their children out to recreational parks and spend ‘quality time’ and reflect on relations that matter most to us, individually or as a family.
On the first ever celebration of Happiness Day, Lyonchhen appealed for people to “keep aside materialistic work and find a reason to say ‘Thank you’ to one’s friends and families.”
“The world is now ready to test the waters of the happiness stream,” said PM.
Parade for Happiness Day
The day today, will be an events-packed day celebrating Happiness in all ways possible and ‘happiness’ would be the order of the day.
“I will be all around the place managing the events,” said Home Minister, Lyonpo Minjur Dorji.
The first hour of Happiness Day in Bhutan will be unfurling of a Thongdrel in Tashichho Dzong from seven to 10 in the morning.
Other events lined up include Free Medical check-up at Norzin Lam and Centennial Park which will be coordinated by the Secretary of the ministry of health (MoH).
The National Flag in the entrance of the Dzong, will be in all patterns of flowers which one can choose and offer to the Tsa-Wa-Sum.
Norzin Lam will be sealed for open-air entertainment of dance and songs. There will also be stage performances by the Motion Picture Association of Bhutan at the Clock Tower Square.
There will be food stalls in Changlimthang Stadium and Norzin Lam, and a Road show by Bhutanese celebrities. In the parks in Changjiji and Dechencholing, there will be entertainments of all sorts in progress. In the Centennial Park there will be songs and dances from the era of His Majesty, the third Druk Gyalpo. Kheng Sonam Dorji of Music of Bhutan and Research Center will organize the event.
A Football match will also be be played in Changlimthang Stadium to conclude the day organized by the Bhutan Olympic Committee (BOC).
How will you celebrate?
The Chief Election Commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi, said: “I will join others in celebrating and contemplate on it.”
The Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) President Lily Wangchhuk, said: “We need to have tangible investment plan to create new jobs and new projects for our youth, women and farmers so that they are able to make a future for their children and their children’s children.” She also added, “a stronger and happier Bhutan begins first at home, not overseas.”
A graduate of Gaeddu College Namgay Rinchen 23, said: “I will go to my village, the Happiness Day has given me a bigger reason to visit my village.”
A teacher in Phuentsholing Higher Secondary School Sarika Pradhan said: “It will be a very special moment for me tomorrow, the day allows me to really show my love and care for my family.”
Most of the schools around the country will celebrate the day with cultural programs.
The introduction of the Happiness Day has been greeted positively by most Bhutanese as a good endeavour by the government.