“Love and Sharing” is the theme of the International Day of Happiness, which will be celebrated for the first time in Vietnam on March 20 with the aim of promoting the well-being of people from all walks of life.

The information was released at a press conference in Hanoi on March 12, during which the Family Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism confirmed that the pursuit of happiness has been long highlighted as the key national principle.

On the occasion, a number of activities will be organised to publicise the country’s policies and laws on social welfare and the construction of happy and progressive families.

The annual celebration was founded in June 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly. As many as 193 member countries, including Vietnam, have pledged to jointly build a merrier world.

The initiative to declare the Happiness Day came from Bhutan – a small country located in South Asia whose citizens are considered to be some of the happiest people in the world.

Since 1970, the Himalayan Kingdom has put forth an alternative measure of social prosperity, called the Gross National Happiness Index (GNH) – assessing happiness based on various factors such as economic and material wealth, health, education, and environment.

In 2012, Vietnam was ranked as the world’s second happiest country by the UK’s New Economic Foundation, behind Costa Rica. Colombia rounded up the top three.-VNA