On International Happy Day I wrote with excitement about the fact that Adam and I were going to be visiting the top happiest places in the world. Denmark holding the number 1 spot.
After spending a mere four days in Denmark I think I’ve figured it out. The key to happiness and why Denmark has a hold on the winners podium.
Public Drinking. Vikings. Costumes. Rampant Sunlight.
Of course this was all very scientific, my figuring this out.
Ahem. Exhibit A: Public Drinking (and Sunlight)
Anywhere you turn in the city center there are people enjoying the sunshine in the numerous parks and green areas around Copenhagen, more than likely they are enjoying a brew or glass of rose. There were times I had to cherry pick my way across a lawn in order to get to the other side of the walkway to avoid picnickers and it was amazing. It made me feel I were on a summer holiday with the entire country.
Happiness meter – medium.
Exhibit B: Vikings (Duh) and Costumes
While in Copenhagen we took a day trip out to Roskilde for me to indulge in my love affair with Vikings by visiting the Viking Ship Museum. I’ll save the museum for another post because what I really want to talk about are the costumes. As if “Vikings as a happiness factor” requires further explanation anyway.
Ahem, back to the costumes; not the ones you can try on at the museum (oh, yes!), no I’m talking about the hoards of young folks parading randomly down the streets of Roskilde in the middle of the day on a Monday carrying cartloads – and in one very inventive case, a baby carriage – of beer and, inexplicably, waterguns. Everyone was in high spirits, none of the costumes fit together, the locals weren’t even phased and we couldn’t figure out any rhyme or reason to it. Was it Danish Halloween?
Doesn’t matter. For the sake of my scientific endeavor, random costumes in the middle of a work/school day = happiness meter registering at medium high.
Update: Apparently students in this part of the world celebrate graduation by dressing in costume. Because caps and gowns aren’t quite enough. Happiness bonus points.
Finally, Exhibit C: Sunlight, sunlight and more sunlight.
Let me return to the fact that up here in the Northern countries the more you progress towards summer the more daylight you have. Every day the sunset hour creeps closer and closer to midnight. What this means is quite profound: more daylight for more picnics, costumes and public drinking.
Happiness meter – #1.
It all makes sense.
And just to be clear, Denmark isn’t about to win the #1 spot by the skin of their teeth, nope, they go in for bonus points and win by leaps and bounds. Case in point: Flash mobs at Copenhagen Central.
Waiting for trains is never a fun activity. Don’t worry though, Denmark has you covered. I’d like to think this happens with some sort of regularity and that it wasn’t just a random once in a blue moon event that I witnessed. A large group of young folks spring out of nowhere and start dancing. Really early in the morning, just because. You can’t watch that and not smile. Unless of course you have no soul.
You win, Denmark.