World Laughter Day – History, Significance

Laughter plays a significant role in our lives. It is that one thing that can not only brighten up you but also your soul. It is correctly said that laughter is the best medicine and should be practiced by everyone daily. It has a scientific backing, where laughter has been proven to keep a person mentally stable and physically fit. It helps in bringing the mind and body to ease and set a balance between them.

World Laughter Day is celebrated every year on the first Sunday of May. In 2021, it will be celebrated on May 2nd, 2021. This day is celebrated to create awareness about the health benefits and the healing effects of laughter.

Laughter is instrumental in relaxing your whole body, relieving any kind of physical tension, and boosting your immune system. All these things keep you mentally and physically fit. Since laughter has so many advantages, it has to be celebrated. And that is why we celebrate World Laughter Day.

History of World Laughter Day

The first World Laughter Day was celebrated around 22 years back, on May 10th, 1998, in Mumbai. The day was conceptualized and decided by Dr. Madan Kataria, who is the founder of the Laughter Yoga Movement.

  • Dr. Madan Kataria came up with this concept to show laughter plays a vital role in our lives and how people can be mentally and physically fit with a mere smile.
  • The first event that was held was outside of India in Denmark. It took place at the Town Hall Square in Copenhagen, where around 2000 people gathered. The event was called ‘HAPPY-DEMIC.’ It was such an amazing experience, where so many people came together to laugh and bond, that it is now a part of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Since 1998, International Laughter Day and its movement have grown exponentially, with more and more people coming in to celebrate this day. Not only people but almost 70 countries worldwide also celebrate this day with great enthusiasm and pomp on the first Sunday of May.

World Laughter Day - History, Significance

Significance of World Laughter Day

The main idea behind this day is for everyone to come together and be happy. They should try and let go of all the troubles and issues in their lives and be happy.

For people, laughter is not very important. They don’t know the positive effects of laughter on a person’s body. They do not realize that laughter is the easiest and the cheapest medicine for all problems. This is why it is imperative that there should be a day to raise awareness about laughter and its positive effects.

It might not be able to solve things or heal someone physically, but it very well can help someone mentally, which at the end of the day is the source of strength to handle all kinds of situations physically.

We are surrounded by all kinds of negativity that we experience in our daily lives, be it in our personal issues, professional problems, or worldly worries. There is terrorism, natural disasters, violence, and economic problems, which encapsulates the entire country into negativity. It is important that one day be specifically celebrated to forget all worries and issues and spread oneness and happiness.

World Laughter Day is a way to exhibit a positive attitude towards people and the world. It also fosters a feeling of brotherhood and fraternity among the people, which is imperative for World Peace.

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How is it celebrated?

There are various ways we can celebrate this day. People go to Laughter Clubs or Laughter Yoga Clubs, which are basically social clubs where people come together to laugh in the form of exercise. Laughter clubs practice intentional and simple laughter techniques, which contribute to the wellness and well-being of people. These are non-profit and independent clubs, and anyone can start it if they want to bring a few people together.

These days, comedy clubs and improvisation are quite a trend. People go to comedy clubs for impromptu acts and showcase their comedy talent in front of people. This is also an excellent way to have a lovely evening out laughing and being happy.

People also celebrate International Laughter Day by sharing jokes amongst their friends and family through social media. They even use hashtags like HappyLaughterDay on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and share jokes with the people on their friend list.

Along with going to Laughter Clubs, people also go to parks around their area to practice and perform laughing yoga practices. This is healthy for them because they are doing yoga and are laughing while doing it, which is beneficial for them, physically and mentally.

People, initiated by various Laughter Clubs, take part in peaceful marches with placards on that day. They produce sounds like ‘Ho, Ho, Ha, Ha,’ to invoke the feeling of laughter and happiness in other people who are watching them. People come out to do whatever makes them happy. They can dance, sing, narrate funny stories. Whatever they feel is important to be happy, they can do that. This develops a contagious effect, where other people also join in.

Especially in times like these, how the entire world is suffering, it is important to one day and brings everyone together. It is rightfully said that laughter is a language that is common to everyone and is instrumental in bringing a feeling of harmony.

It does not matter what religion, caste, country, or social background one comes from, as far as they can make people around them happy and laugh. Laughter is that one thing, which is not biased, which shows no prejudice, and treats everyone equally. Everyone has a right to be happy; hence this is that one day, where everyone can come together and laugh and contribute to the there and other’s mental and physical balance.

By..Tanvi Aditi Francis

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