World Laughter Day, 2024.

World Laughter Day, 2024.

Laughter of the Day:

What’s the smartest insect? A spelling Bee.

Why don’t skeletons fight each other? Cause they don’t have the guts!

Why was the math book sad? Because it had too many problems!

What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot!

Did I catch a laugh? A smile? Or a teeny-tiny chuckle there? Yup, My job’s done. World Laughter Day is here, and I thought of shooting some puns to make you laugh. Because that is all the day is about. Spread joy and laugh a bit, meanwhile. 

World Laughter Day is an annual event celebrated worldwide on the first Sunday of May to spread awareness about laughter and its health benefits. The Laughter Yoga Club movement started the celebration of World Laughter Day. Los Angeles has been celebrating World Laughter Day since 2005. Slowly, other countries began to embrace the day and its importance. Now, it’s being celebrated in most large cities around the world. The day’s goal is to highlight the importance of laughter and happiness in our lives. People express their love for comedy, humor, and laughter on World Laughter Day. It’s a day for people to forget their stress and worries, bring a change in their moods, and altogether alter rather a typical environment. The Laughter Day celebration intends to tie humanity with brotherhood and friendship through shared laughter.

World Laughter Day also brings together individuals and community groups who exercise comedy as laughter promotes overall mental and physical wellness. They believe laughter is the best priceless medicine we humans are gifted with. On World Laughter Day, they come together to remind others to live in the moment, put aside all their problems, and make happy memories with friends and family. People attend events, private parties, and community gatherings, and even go to laughter clubs to observe the day where one watches comedy skits and movies and listens to podcasts or famous comedians for fun. The Laughter Club events invite people to gather at the city’s biggest squares, plazas, public parks, or auditoriums, where various programs are held, like music concerts, dance shows, or even contests for the day. Laughter contests are held, and people with the most infectious, natural, and effortless laughter would win it. These particular Laughter clubs also organize parades and carry banners and placards that promote the Laughter Yoga movement. People marching in parades chant, clap, and dance to show excitement and delight.

ALSO READ: An Inspiring Journey of Anirudh Ravichander: A Symphony of Dreams and Dedication

History of World Laughter Day

The history of World Laughter Day goes back to the 1980s, to our very own country, India. At that time, Dr. Madan Kataria, a Mumbai-based doctor from a small village, Mohrewala, was practicing as a family physician. He was also publishing articles through a monthly health magazine, My Doctor. Balancing multiple jobs in a crowded city like Mumbai caused Dr. Madan to experience stress. When he was looking for ways to de-stress, he contemplated writing a series of articles on stress management. After a while, in 1995, he wrote an article about laughter being the best medicine, which influenced him to do further research and study people, only to find that people aren’t laughing enough and are stressed in their daily lives. That’s when he started a laughter club for telling jokes with just five people. The club didn’t work out when they were out of jokes. He studied more and came up with the idea of stimulating laughter without any reason. The idea is based on the fact that if you act like a happy person, your body doesn’t know the difference, and your brain cannot differentiate. Dr. Kataria further studied the positive effects of facial expressions on mood. Eventually, he started creating laughter exercises. He drew parallels between breathing exercises and laughing and modeled laughing into an inhaling-exhaling exercise. Thus, the Laughter Yoga Club had come to be. 

World Laughter Day, 2024.
World Laughter Day.- Laughter Yoga Club Gathering.

In the next five years, he spread the club’s activities all over India. He would gather people who went for a morning walk and teach them laughing exercises and their benefits. Soon, 500 clubs were operating in India. He was invited to the U.S. to spread the movement. He created awareness about the club in 14 cities in one month and 50 countries in 10 years. 

The very first World Laughter Day was celebrated in Mumbai, India, on January 11, 1998. At least 12,000 locals and laughter club members joined for a Mega-Laughter session. Later, the first World Laughter Day gathering, “HAPPY-DEMIC”, outside India, took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, on January 9, 2000. More than 10,000 gathered at the Town Hall Square. This event made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. Laughter Club members participate in a peace march on this day. They hold banners and placards that say, “World Peace Through Laughter, The Whole World Is An Extended Family, Join a Community Laughter Club – it’s free!” etc. The people marching chant “Ho Ho, Ha-Ha-Ha” and “very good, very good, yay!” while clapping and dancing. Fake laughs are generated through a flow of sounds such as “Ahhh-ha ha ha-hoohoohoo-ha-heeheehee.” Parades are an exciting way for the laughter clubs to help you have a good time and attract people to join the club for special benefits.

Health benefits of Laughing regularly

Think about those moments when you had a hard-belly-ache laugh. All the worries inside your head would disappear for a minute. Everything feels easier. You think life is going well and can handle anything by taking enough breaths. When you laugh, your body releases endorphins, decreases stress, boosts the immune system, and pumps more blood to your heart, and you get healthier by one degree. Now imagine what laughing regularly can do to your body. Laughing is truly a priceless, effortless, prescription-less medicine you can take on time, every day. The benefits of laughing are listed below:

  1. Laughing turns you into a positive person and lifts your mood.
  2. Laughing releases endorphins, which are natural painkillers in your body.
  3. With laughter, T-cells are activated, bettering your immune system.
  4. Laughter itself is cardio – it pumps blood to your heart, regulates your heart rate, and burns calories, similar to walking at a moderate pace.
  5. Laughing reduces anxiety and stress-causing hormone Cortisol levels in your body.
  6. It increases oxygen intake in your body.
  7. It lowers blood pressure. 
  8. Laughter is good for other organs, such as the abdomen, diaphragm, shoulders, and facial muscles, which all are stimulated while laughing.
  9. Laughter helps to form better connections with people, including strangers, and facilitates positive communication. 
  10. Adding laughter-inducing humor to your conversations strengthens your bonds and creates a positive emotional climate within relationships.
  11. Laughing creates bursts of energy that activate your mind and body, resulting in an optimistic outlook on life.
  12. Laughter keeps you sane. 

Every day, we spend a lot of time worrying about minute things. We pay no heed to our minds and bodies asking us for relaxation. We say we don’t have time. We take ourselves too seriously. We all are always on a quest to achieve something; we hustle daily to realize our goals. But what good does success bring if you ignore the present moments, your health, and your relationships along the way? One good laugh can make a moment precious, your health better and your relationship stronger. Strive for those good laughs in your journey. Laughter brings everyone closer, for it is a language that everyone understands. It helps you to relax and recharge. You will burn about 40 calories if you laugh for 10-15 minutes a day. World Laughter Day is to remind you that life gets a lot better with laughter in it. 

It’s not even hard to enjoy Laughter Day. Tell a joke to someone, recall funny moments from the past with your friends and family, watch a funny movie, listen to a comedy show, or maybe just learn to laugh at yourself, which enables you to accept yourself, makes you authentic, and resilient. 

Celebrate Laughter, people. Stay happy and sane!

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