International Day of Happiness is today: can you dig it?

International Day of Happiness is today: Can you dig it?

Eating ham, and jam, and spamalot will make you happy

Our guide to getting the most out of the UN-mandated annual celebration of happiness

Today is, whether you like it or not, International Day of Happiness. In 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/66/281, recognising that 'pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal' and calling on everyone to observe the day 'in an appropriate manner', so if your idea of happiness involves a couple of bottles of Buckfast and a good fight, you may want to realign your goals with those of the international community.

There are, of course, many socially-approved ways in which you can maximise your happiness, just as there are also things you should avoid doing if you wish to spend the remains of the day experiencing maximum happyosity.

Do: Go see some art.
In Edinburgh, our reviewer gave the Ross Birrell and David Harding exhibition where language ends at Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery a rare five stars, noting how it used minimal means to give the gallery a 'warm glow'. In Glasgow, the three-day, caring, sharing Buzzcut Festival has just kicked off, with loads of cutting-edge performance from the diverse likes of Nic Green and Sh!t Theatre. Buzzcut gets extra happy points because there are so many events; if you don't like the one you're at, there'll be another one along in a minute.

Don't: Stare directly at the sun.
We realise it's a bit late for this advice on the day of Scotland's most impressive solar eclipse since around 1961. We also realise that if you did stare directly at the sun for a long time, there's a good chance that you can't read this. But if you can read it, be happy that your eyesight is in good shape.

Do: Take in some live performance.
Spamalot, the celebrated musical version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is good enough even to bring into line the wayward talent, if that's the word we're looking for, of Joe Pasquale, who we praised for his 'gentle nobility' as King Arthur. At the time of writing, tickets are still available. If you're in Glasgow, and can't wait till Spamalot opens in June, The King's Speech tells the inspiring true tale of a monarch set free from the prison of shyness by outbursts of manic swearing.

Don't: Cancel any live performances you yourself were planning to give.
Unless you are very, very confident in the loyalty of your fans. We're looking at you Morrissey

Do: Watch a movie that will make you happy.
Big Hero Six fits the bill here, but if you're in the mood for something less daft and like your happiness mixed in with, well, sadness, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is probably more up your street.

Don't: Watch the Todd Solondz movie Happiness.
Obviously you should ignore this advice if you are a big Todd Solondz fan. Everybody else, though, really, don't.

We hope that your International Day of Happiness has been relatively unmingled with non-happiness, and here below to remind us of what it's all about are some wise words from an eminently happy-seeming man, Michael Palin. He does swear, though, so if swearing makes you unhappy, don't watch it.

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