The first “World Laughter Day” gathering took place in Mumbai, India, on 11th of January 1998. 12,000 members from local and international Laughter Clubs joined together in a mega laughter session (the number is valid because that’s how many meals were served.)
“HAPPY-DEMIC” was the first World Laughter Day gathering outside India. It took place on 9th January 2000, in Copenhagen, Denmark and more than 10,000 people gathered in the Town Hall Square . The event went into the Guinness Book of World records.
World Laughter Day is now celebrated on the first Sunday of May every year in most large cities around the world. Hundreds of people (oftentimes thousands) gather worldwide on that day to laugh together.
The usual format of a WLD celebration is the congregation of laughter club members, their families and friends at some important landmark in their city like big squares, public parks or auditoriums laugh collectively. In India, Laughter Club members often do a peace march. They carry banners and placards such as “World Peace Through Laughter, The Whole World Is An Extended Family, Join a Community Laughter Club – it’s free!” etc. During the march all chant “Ho Ho, Ha-Ha-Ha” and “very good, very good, yay!” clapping and dancing. After walking some distance, they stop to do a few Laughter Yoga exercises and then move on. At the end of the march, they laugh together for 10 minutes or so and then read Dr. Kataria’s message for World Peace. This is followed by a variety entertainment program of music, dance and laughter contests e.g., best laughing man/woman/child/senior, etc. Winners are those with the most infectious, natural and effortless laughter. See how a laughter contest is organized here.