World Smile Day

World Smile Day Quick Facts - EU

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2023 Date6 October 2023
2024 Date4 October 2024

World Smile Day

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World Smile Day promotes the simple act of smiling to spread happiness, kindness, and positivity. The observance encourages individuals to engage in activities and gestures that bring joy to themselves and others. It is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of mental and emotional well-being, as well as the impact of small acts of kindness on personal and societal relationships.

The concept of World Smile Day was initiated by Harvey Ball, an American commercial artist, and creator of the iconic Smiley Face symbol, in 1999. Ball's vision was to devote one day each year to sharing happiness and kindness through smiles. For the European Union, World Smile Day holds special significance in promoting unity and celebrating the diverse cultures within the EU while fostering a sense of solidarity and compassion among its citizens. The occasion serves as a reminder for EU citizens to embrace positivity, engage in charitable activities, and contribute to uplifting their communities.

To observe World Smile Day in the European Union, people participate in various events and activities aimed at spreading smiles and happiness. These may include volunteering at charity organizations, distributing gifts and treats to friends and neighbors, or simply making an effort to smile at strangers in daily interactions. Social media platforms also play a significant role in amplifying the message of World Smile Day, as people across the EU share their experiences and ideas on how to spread joy and positivity. World Smile Day is held annually on the first Friday of October, with the next celebration taking place on October 6th, 2023.

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World Smile Day facts

  • A Duchenne smile is a full smile involving all the facial muscles. It is named after 19th century French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne.
  • Even a forced smile can lead to a mood boost. The physical act of smiling releases dopamine in the brain, which gives feelings of happiness and satisfaction.
  • Contrary to popular belief, smiling does not take more effort. It usually takes 12 muscles to smile and 11 muscles to frown. Some studies suggest that we may use as many as 43 muscles to frown.
  • In Eastern European countries such as Russia, it's not customary to smile for photographs. This is due to cultural reasons, as well as historical contexts.
  • In business settings, different countries in the EU may also have different views about when and how often one should smile. For example, while Southern European countries may be more open to smiles during business interactions, in Northern European countries, smiling may be reserved for social interactions outside of the workplace.

Top things to do in the EU for World Smile Day

  • Perform a kind act for family, a friend, or even a stranger.
  • Volunteer or organize activities for local charities or organizations that focus on spreading happiness and positivity in the community.
  • Participate in random acts of kindness, such as paying for someone's coffee, giving compliments, or surprising a friend or neighbor with a small gift.

World Smile Day references and related sites

www.worldsmileday.com: History of World Smile Day

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