Charlie Chaplin, the legendary actor once said, “Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain” and “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” With stress and life-pressure sipping the joy from our lives, the World Laughter Day on the first Sunday of May every year comes as a breath of fresh air. This year the World Laughter Day will be celebrated on 6 May.
The first ever Laughter Day was celebrated on 10 May 1998, in Mumbai and the person behind the innovatory idea was Dr. Madan Kataria, founder of the World Laughter Yoga Movement in 1995.
According to his ideology, one’s facial expressions have a deep effect on his feelings and emotions. The revolutionary idea took over the rest of the world and the first ever Laughter Day celebrated outside India was called ‘Happy-Demic’.
Dr. Kataria once said, “When you laugh, you change and when you change the whole world changes around you.”
The members of the Laughter Clubs around the world, celebrate it by gathering at a public place, like a city hall, auditoriums, town hall or a simple park. They start off by praying for world peace and later messages by Dr. Kataria are read with people having a good hearty laugh.Especially in India, the members carry a peace march, with sounds of ‘HO, HO, HA, HA’ to spread the effects of laughter.
The people sometimes stop in between the march and do some Laughter Yoga exercises. After the march, the leader of the club starts a ten minute or longer session on laughter, ending it by reading messages from Dr. Madan Kataria. Programmes such a dance and challenges ends the good ol’ funny day.
Apart from that there are many ways in which the excitement and fun of this day could be experienced:
1. Go to any local Laughter club and have a good hearty laugh with the members on the special day.
2. Take the path of Dr. Kataria, he once roamed around the street of Bangalore, making people laugh and asking them whether they would join him or not.
3. Many Laughter clubs collaborate together to arrange sessions of Laughter Yoga, the main foundation for this day, and one doesn’t need to stretch their muscles to trigger their funny bones.
4. Stand-up comic skits have become extremely popular today, so you along with your family and friends could go and watch one live!
5. Contests like best laughing female/male/child, the loudest laugh, best stand-up comedy, best joke of the day are organised by the laughter clubs on the day, go have a crack at it.
Benefits of the World Laughter Day:
1. Laughter leads to the wellness of the mind, and heals the inner self.
2. Laughter relieves physical stress, leaving your muscles relaxed after it.
3. Laughter is a great source to reduce depression and anxiety with stress hormone cortisol levels going down.Laughter improves the immune system by improving the function of blood vessels and increase the blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
4. Laughter is extremely good for facial muscles, and as per studies if you laugh a lot you will get less wrinkles when you are old.
5. And you can laugh just for pure fun!
Fun Facts about World Laughter Day
1. Laughter is pretty contagious ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you…”2. In the year 2015, Oxford Dictionary named the emoji ‘Face with Tears of Joy’ as its Word of the Year.3. The very first internationally celebrated Laughter Day in the year 2000 at Copenhagen was recorded in The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest gathering only to laugh and bond together.4. A fact observed by a Psychologist named Jack Panksepp in 1990 states that the rats laugh when tickled and while playing with each other.
The theme of 2018 World Laughter Day is World Peace through laughter, so spread peace, laugh your hearts out and live happily, and as a great man once said, “to laugh is like to trigger the happy corner of your brain and heart.”