International Day of Happiness
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Happiness is morning and evening, Daytime and nighttime too. For happiness is anyone and anything at all That's loved by you. "
~ You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Is Scottish Country Dancing your "bluebird of happiness"? The symbol of a bluebird as the harbinger of happiness is found in many cultures and may date back thousands of years. And in many fairy tales, the blue bird is a symbol of hope. Only a handful of earth's creatures manifest blue in their colouration. And interestingly, though, unlike many other bird colors, blue is not a pigment but a color produced by the structure of the feathers. Tiny air pockets and melanin pigment crystals in each feather scatter blue light and absorb the other wavelengths. We perceive blue, but it’s because these animals have all evolved a way to trick your eyes using the physics of light to control what you see!
Happiness Is Scottish Country Dancing
Happiness is ... Scottish Country Dancing, of course!
Another harbinger of happiness is the bluebird, remembered today, for International Happiness Day, celebrated worldwide every 20 March, conceptualized and founded in 2012 by philanthropist, activist, statesman, and prominent United Nations special advisor Jayme Illien to inspire, mobilize, and advance the global happiness movement. Thirty two years before founding the International Day of Happiness, Jayme Illien was an orphan rescued from the streets of Calcutta India by Mother Teresa's International Mission of Hope charities. Jayme Illien was later adopted by a then forty five year old single white American woman named Anna Belle Illien. After agreeing to adopt Jayme, Anna Belle Illien founded Illien Adoptions International, Inc, a 501 c non for profit child social welfare and international adoption agency based in Atlanta, GA.
The bluebird is known for its beautiful warbling song. Bluebirds are a member of the Thrush family related to the American Robin. There are three bluebird types in North America: The Eastern Bluebird, The Western Bluebird and the Mountain Bluebird.
The symbol of a bluebird as the harbinger of happiness is found in many cultures and may date back thousands of years. And in many fairy tales, the blue bird is a symbol of hope.
The concept of a "blue bird of happiness" was introduced in Maurice Maeterlinck's play The Blue Bird (1908). The bird in that play is not actually a bluebird, but merely a bird that is blue (which is symbolically significant in the play). As a result of this play, bluebirds became a widely recognized symbol of happiness and cheer, and have been used as such by numerous songwriters.
For a beautiful brief video of a bluebird in the snow with birdsong, click the illustration of "The Bluebird" by Frank Cadogan Cowper 1918.