Bhutan observed International Day of Happiness (IDH) amidst reports Bhutan stands nowhere in the world happiness ladder despite being leader in establishing the index as one the basis for human development.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the day was celebrated with the lighting of a thousand butter lamps at the National Memorial choeten.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 20 as the International Day of Happiness in June 2012. The occasion is observed internationally, including through educational and public awareness raising activities.
The latest happiness report ranked Bhutan as 97th happy country in the world. Until this UN report started coming out western former Bhutanese Prime Minister Jigmi Thinley vigorously publicised Bhutan to be happiest country in the world. Thinley has now been silenced – for political reasons.
Initially, the Bhutan objected the day saying it should have been on November 11, the birthday of King Jigme Singye who is credited for devising the idea.
The UN resolution in 2011 recognises the pursuit of happiness as a fundamental human goal as well as the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the wellbeing of all people.