Did You Know World Laughter Day Originated In India?

Mark Twain once said, “{Humanity] has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century, but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”

Today as the world celebrates World Laughter Day, not many know about the history of this day. It began in Mumbai, India in 1998. Celebrated on the first Sunday of every year, World Laughter Day was Dr. Madan Kataria’s brainchild.

Dr. Madan Kataria | Photo: thelaughing-buddha.com

Dr. Kataria is the founder of the Laughter Yoga movement (remember Dr. Asthana from Munnabhai MBBS?), that is practiced across the world.


On May 1, 1998, when the first laughter day was celebrated, the concept that laughter is good for health was pretty new. Dr. Kataria started the movement inspired by the idea of facial feedback hypothesis – which is a hypothesis that a person’s facial expressions have an effect on their emotions and state of mind. This is why when we laugh at something really silly, we start feeling better, happier.

William James, an American philosopher and scientist found that one can provoke an authentic emotion while pretending to act like that. Almost like the Al Iz Well concept of the film 3 Idiots.

If this is not enough to convince you to laugh, then it is scientifically proved that laughter reduces stress, brings about an overall improvement in the state of mind person thereby affecting health in a positive way. ‘Endorphins’ or in layman’s language, ‘happiness hormones’ is released while laughing. Also, laughter is known to improve cardiac health.

Happy World Laughter Day! Want a kickstart to laughing? Watch this video:

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Heer Khant
Heer Khant

Traveller | Writer | Photographer | Maverick | Social Worker | Lawyer | A freedom-loving woman for whom words are like wings to her soul. She believes in aliens, hates boundaries and lives like the first human on Earth.

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