March 20, 2014
Spring into Happiness! Mark this in your calendar!
Today is the first day of spring and the United Nations International Day of Happiness. What are you and your family doing to celebrate these two occasions?
First Day of Spring
Today is the first day of spring! This marks the point in the year that that the sun passes directly over the equator and the days become longer than the nights. As the Earth rotates around the sun the axial tilt of the planet means that one hemisphere will always experience longer hours of day light than the other. The vernal equinox marks the transition into spring in the northern hemisphere. The exact time of day when this takes place depends on where you are geographically situated on the surface of the Earth. In Toronto the equinox is at 12:57pm! Consider this over your lunch today!
United Nations International Day of Happiness
In other warm thoughts for today, the United Nations is celebrating the International Day of Happiness! This day recognizes the importance of happiness and well-being as universal aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world, and also recognizes the relevance of these concepts to public policy objectives. Marking this day was originally an initiative of Bhutan, a country which famously adopted a policy goal of Gross Domestic Happiness as of the same importance as Gross National Product (GNP). From UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message today:
The twin concepts of happiness and well-being increasingly feature in international discussions of sustainable development and the future we want.
Many countries are going beyond the rhetoric of quality of life to incorporate practical measures to promote these concepts in their legislation and policy-making. These good practices can inspire other countries so that measuring and accounting for broader well-being, and not simply national income, becomes a universal practice.
Happiness may have different meanings for different people. But we can all agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of our fellow human beings live.
– Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day of Happiness, 20 March 2014