Research: Public Holiday Makes People Happier

Thu 2 May 2013 10:00, Vitto Christaldi

International Labour Day is celebrated annually on May 1st (yesterday). In several countries, International Labour Day is usually put as a public holiday to celebrate workers’ movements, workers’ achievements, and trade unions. Those workers who get a free day are supposedly happier than those who still had to work on Labour Day.

Research: Public Holiday Makes People Happier


Hedonometer is a new research project that aims to measure people’s happiness based on their tweets. It is based on the research of Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth and their team in the Computational Story Lab at the University of Vermont Complex Systems Center, and the technology of Brian Tivnan, Matt McMahon and their team from The MITRE Corporation. The site analyzes tweets in real time through language and expression to measure people’s happiness at any given time. The graph below is the analysis report based on research in five years time.

Christmas Day has been the happiest day of the year since 2009,


As well as Thanksgiving,


and Christmas Eve.


New Year’s Eve also ranks highly,


also Independence Day in the United States,


and last but not least, Easter Sunday.


Too be honest these results are quite expected, seeing that on these days people are usually relax and there is family, friends and alcohol involved. Without an extensive research, I could easily name the day when people in certain countries are in their happiest mood. The Netherlands? Queen’s Day/King’s Day. Indonesia? It’s either Eid or Christmas. North Korea? Probably on the birthday of Kim Jong-Il (but that’s because they are forced to be happy haha)


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