Pursuing happiness has long been underlined as one of the key principles of the Vietnamese Party and State, which can be seen in the official headline of all documents “Independence-Freedom-Happiness”.

In celebrating for the first time the International Day of Happiness on March 20, Vietnam has chosen the theme of the day as “Love and Sharing”, in connection with the 2013 Family Year of “Connecting Love”.

Deputy Head of the Family Department under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Tran Huong Duong said activities organised on this occasion all aimed to encourage citizens to join hands in developing welfare and building warm 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.

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.

The UN wants to spread the message that balance and harmony are the keys to happiness.

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

Vietnamese were ranked the 63rd merriest people on the planet, according to a 156-nation survey published by Colombia University’s Earth Institute in 2013.-VNA