Nottingham Gets Happy: Students Celebrate International Day of Happiness

Balloons_of_Happiness‘International Day of Happiness’ is celebrated worldwide on 20th March. The purpose of the day is to raise public awareness on the importance of having a happy lifestyle.

Many events are happening across the world to celebrate this day of happiness, including a Happy Day workshop at Nottingham Trent University. The purpose of the workshop was to provide an educational informative day for school and college students between 16 and 18 years old who are considering continuing on to University. International Day of Happiness is focussed around the concept of people so the students participated in exercises and workshops related to the Social Sciences. The aim of the day was to give the students had a better understanding of which career they wish to pursue so they could ensure they were happy in the future.

Matthew Long is a senior criminology lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. He was involved in the workshops with the students.


Launched by the United Nations in 2012 as a way of encouraging people to be happy and to make the appropriate choices to achieve that, International Day of Happiness is now celebrated worldwide. The UN believes that

‘Social, economic and environmental well-being are indivisible. Together they define gross global happiness.’

One element of the campaign has been to encourage people to make a ‘Happiness Day Resolution’; choosing one action to improve personal happiness and emotional satisfaction over the course of the following year.

The official Day of Happiness website asked visitors to the site to vote what they 1394713478417think is more important – wealth or happiness – and the majority have chosen happiness. International Day of Happiness is supported and organised by Action for Happiness, a non profit movement created by people from over 140 countries. Their desire is to ‘reclaim happiness’ for they have  deemed the welfare of the public as a ‘global priority’.

International Day of Happiness has inspired a number of events and workshops across the country. On 20th March 2013 East Midlands Happiness (EMH) was launched. They are a non profit organisation created by people who want to make the East Midlands a happier place to live. EMH’s aim is to:

…encourage actions that enhance personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of others by coming together as a group, staging events, sharing information and promoting local projects.

EMH’s previous events have included giving out free hugs in Old Market Square, and screening films and documentaries based on happiness.

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