“Love and sharing” was the theme of a ceremony in Hanoi on March 20, which was held in Vietnam for the first time in response to International Day of Happiness.

Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Dam Dam said happiness is celebrated on March 20 as each year on this date a universal phenomenon occurs - the sun is on the same plane as the earth’s equator so that day and night are of equal length, creating balance in the earth’s celestial coordinate systems.

Vietnam observes the day with the hope for a world of peace, sustainable development, freedom and happiness without wars and poverty, the official said.

According to him, people’s happiness has motivated Vietnam to reform, fulfilling the target of a wealthy people, a strong, democratic, fair and civilised country.

Vietnam has proven itself as a responsible member of the international community for peace, cooperation, development and prosperity, Deputy PM Dam noted.

He called on people to join hands in socio-economic development and poverty reduction, especially among those living in difficulty, while upholding the traditional values of the nation.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said his ministry has organised various activities to popularise International Day of Happiness, as well as the Party and State’s policies and laws on social welfare.

On this occasion, the ministry presented awards to winners of a writing contest on happy 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.

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