Drummers in colourful costume dance with joy
Members of the Falata community perform traditional dances at Al Zubir Stadium in El Fasher, North Darfur, as part of celebrations for United Nations Day.
Photo:UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Happiness is a fundamental human goal. The United Nations General Assembly recognizes this goal and calls for “a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes the happiness and well-being of all peoples” (resolution A/RES/66/281).



What is the International Day of Happiness?


It’s a day to be happy, of course! Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. In 2015, the UN launched the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which seek to end povertyreduce inequality, and protect our planet – three key aspects that lead to well-being and happiness. 

The United Nations invites each person of any age, plus every classroom, business and government to join in celebration of the International Day of Happiness.





The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. It also recognized 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 resolution was initiated by Bhutan, a country which recognized the value of national happiness over national income since the early 1970s and famously adopted the goal of Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product. It also hosted a High Level Meeting on "Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm" during the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

Gaza children playing in a water park

UN Photo album celebrates happiness

UN photographers capture people smiling, celebrating, playing, and laughing in this special collection for the International Day of Happiness.

Timorese in traditional dress take part in a ceremony. UN Photo/Martine Perret

2022 World Happiness Report

The 10 year edition of the Word Happiness Report is to be released on Mar 18, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada).

Register here

2021 World Happiness Report

Last year’s World Happiness Report focused on the effects of COVID-19 on happiness and how countries have differed in their success in reducing the deaths and maintaining connected and healthy societies. Topics covered include: the effects of the pandemic on happiness, mental health, social connections, and the workplace; and the choice of strategies for dealing with COVID-19.

FAQs about the 2021 report



Young girls smile as they take part in the  International Day of the Girl Child event

On the occasion of the International Day of Education, and as part of the Learning Planet Festival celebrations, UNESCO hosted a webinar about the relationship between happiness and positive learning experiences. The event kicked off a global dialogue on the importance of positioning school well-being as both a pursuit and an enabler for a better learning, with the aim to scale up the work that began in Asia-Pacific through the regional Happy Schools Framework to the global context.

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.