World Gratitude Day is celebrated annually on the 21st of September, encouraging individuals and organizations to celebrate the broad meaning of gratitude. From the perspective of Humanism, gratitude is a ubiquitous human emotion or state of awareness shared by those of all faith and non-faith perspectives; the habit of routine thoughtfulness and mindful living includes creating meaningful, personal traditions to honor others and ourselves.
The celebration began in 1965 in Hawaii at a Thanksgiving dinner for the United Nations Meditation Group hosted by its director, Sri Chinmoy. He proposed a globally unifying holiday to formally express gratitude and appreciation for the many wonderful things to be found around the world. Each attendee pledged to hold a gratitude gathering each September 21 in their own country. The United Nations Meditation Group formally celebrated World Gratitude Day on September 21, 1977 at the New York Headquarters where Sri Chinmoy was honored for his work. Since its beginnings World Gratitude Day has been observed in many countries around the world.
The awareness of the benefits of having time in one’s life for gratitude, appreciation, and positive reflection have become increasingly apparent. The hope of the founders of Gratitude Day is that by taking time, one day a year, to reflect on the many amazing things we have in our lives, it would positively impact our well-being and make us happier, more contended people.