World Stamps

Six U.N. stamps promote International Day of Happiness

Mar 7, 2014, 5 AM

The United Nations Postal Administration issued six stamps March 17 to celebrate the International Day of Happiness.

The stamp designs reproduce photographs of happy people and animals. Each stamp also includes the word “Happy” in one of the six official languages of the United Nations: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution July 12, 2012, proclaiming March 20 as the International Day of Happiness, “recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.

“Recognizing also the need for a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth that promotes sustainable development, poverty eradication, happiness and the well-being of all peoples...”

The second International Day of Happiness was observed March 20.

The two stamps for use from the U.N. post office at U.N. headquarters in New York City are denominated 47¢ and $1.15. The stamps were printed before the United States Postal Service changed the domestic rate to 49¢.

The 47¢ stamp shows the word “happy” in English across the face of a woman smiling. The photographic portrait is by Mario Castello, and like all of the photographs pictured on the International Day of Happiness stamps is licensed by the stock photography and video agency Age Fotostock.

Henryk T. Kaiser’s photograph of two business people jumping and kissing on a beach is featured on the $1.15 stamp. “Feliz,” the Spanish word for happy, is inscribed at the bottom of the stamp, just below the man’s foot.

The stamps for use from the U.N. post office in the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, feature the word happy in French (heureux) on the 1-franc stamp, and in Chinese on the 1.40fr stamp.

The 1fr stamp shows the photograph A Sweet Dog’s Muzzle by Jaymi Heimbuch.

The description of this photograph on the Age Fotostock website reads: “This pit bull sits with its eyes closed and its nose held up as if waiting for a kiss.”

The 1.40fr stamp pictures a side profile of two young women forming a symbolic heart with their arms. The photograph is credited to Glow Images.

The €0.90 stamp for use from the U.N. post office at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria, shows Alan Levenson’s photograph of a happy Asian boy at the park.

A Barbary macaque cuddling its baby is shown on the U.N./Vienna €1.70 stamp. Gerhard Schulz took the photograph.

The word happy is written in Russian on the €0.90 stamp and in Arabic on the €1.70 stamp.

Lowe-Martin of Canada printed the stamps by offset in sheets of 20 in the following quantities: 130,000 each of the 47¢ and $1.15 stamps;90,000 each of the 1fr and 1.40fr; and 100,000 each of the €0.90 and €1.70.

Each stamp measures 30 millimeters by 40mm and is perforated gauge 13.3.

Rorie Katz of the United Nations designed the stamps, using the aforementioned Age Fotostock photographs.

The illustrations shown with this report are created from publicity images of the stamp designs. The photographic images will extend to the end of the perforations on the issued stamps.

In conjunction with the new stamps, the UNPA is offering a first-day cover with a cachet showing a laughing zebra, based on a photograph by Duncan Noakes.

The website of the UNPA is Ordering information also is available by writing to UNPA, Box 5900, Grand Central Station, New York, NY 10163-5900; telephone 800-234-8672; e-mail;or fax 212-963-9854.