National Hug Day (21st of January)


We all know you enjoy the hugs and kisses of your loved ones. But what about devoting a day to the love we share? One day a year, we deviate from our daily routine and embrace the physical contact we cherish.

Hugging your partner is great for your health but make sure not to avoid hugs with friends and even strangers on National Hugging Day. If you are into the art of embracing people, you are sure to become a new hugging champion on this event.

National Hugging Day is celebrated every year on 21st of January. It is a day for people to celebrate and spread love and affection all over the world. Hugging can be a life changing experience for some people, who feel they cannot live without it, according to a study in the Journal Emotion. International Hug Day is a day to celebrate the act of hugging and to make sure everyone knows you care. It is a day dedicated to spreading love and making people feel loved. There are multiple events planned throughout the world.

A Brief History of National Hug Day

National Hug Day was created Kevin Zaborney in 1986. He wanted it to be a day where everyone can come together and hug each other for whatever reason they want – no matter what their age, gender or any other differences they may have. National Hug Day has taken off over the past few years with events happening across the US and Canada as well as many other countries around the world.

National Hug Day is a day when people around the world aim to bring people in and start a conversation about how we can foster community and love.

Every year, on January 21st, we celebrate the concept of national hug day. This day is about encouraging people to show more love towards one another. The date was chosen prior to Valentine’s Day, which is often associated with romantic gestures, but National Hug Day encourages us to focus on what can bring us together rather than what separates us.

What Makes Us Want to Hug?

One way to understand the power of a hug, is to consider that when we hug, we release a neurohormone called oxytocin. The hormone can cause a sense of warmth, trust and empathy in us. Oxytocin has also been shown to reduce feeling of pain and increase feelings of trust. It also promotes bonding and intimacy, which can improve the quality of life for both partners.

For those who suffer from chronic pain, hugging is a natural alternative to opioids and analgesics.

During a hug, we can feel connected to each other, and this is why I think people use hugs often. In hugging someone else, we might feel more connected with them.

What Purpose Does National Hug Day Serve?

National Hugging Day is a day meant to bring people together by spreading love and support. The organizers’ fears are well founded as society has changed drastically in recent years. People are more scared than ever before, leading to less people embracing their friends and family members. For this reason, people worldwide are encouraged to be thoughtful and show signs of affection throughout the day. The day proves that people can come together in a display of love, even if events in the world around them are testing their strength.

Everyone is encouraged to show their support for an important aspect of embracement. This is because, as you celebrate the day, you need to make sure that your hug is received, appreciated and done without hurting anyone’s feelings. To do this, before wrapping your arms around someone else on the day, remember to seek permission first. It’s important to respect people who are not fond of physical hugs or physical touch. Just let them know that you care in a variety of other ways.


Year Date Day
2021 January 21 Thursday
2022 January 21 Friday
2023 January 21 Saturday
2024 January 21 Sunday
2025 January 21 Tuesday



Hug joins the lexicon

Old Norse words from this time period included the expression “hugga” or to comfort. The expression “OG Hug” is from Old Norse, meaning from this time period.


The Birth of National Hug Day

As one of the top Detroit PR firms, National Hugging Day was first celebrated on January 21st in Clio, Michigan.


Free Hugs Campaign Begins

The ‘Free Hugs’ campaign takes off and eventually other volunteers joined him in handing out hugs. Juan is happy to see that he can make a positive impact on the lives of others.


Illustrated Guide to Free Hugs is published

Juan Mann wrote a book featuring lots of illustrations, easy-to-follow reasons on why to hug people and a bunch of quotes to make it fun for everyone. His efforts seem to have been successful as the illustrated guide on free hugs has been widely accepted.


Joy Spreads

National Hugging Day has proven popular in Germany.


A political embrace

President Obama and Governor Chris Christie, along with other members of New Jersey’s state government, met on the shore as their visit to the devastated part of New Jersey. In a brief moment, Christie and Obama clasped hands and shared embrace as they thanked each other for their contributions to the relief effort after Hurricane Sandy.


Study suggests that hugging is healthy

A study on more than 400 people has shown that if you give and receive hugs and other emotional support, you might be 30% less likely to get sick from certain contagious illnesses. On the flip side, those who receive more hugs were also found to recover from those illnesses faster.


Narendra Modi hugs Donald Trump

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and Donald Trump exchange a witty hug during their first meeting. As the handshake continued, both men tried to top each other with increasingly awkward gestures.


12 hugs a day

A study recently found that frequent hugging is important for your development. You might not think to hug someone so much, but you can actually reach a specific quota, depending on your needs. Family therapist Virginia Satir says “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”

It seems like a lot, but you’re probably already doing it without even thinking about it on a daily basis! You can thank your friends, family, and loved ones for that!

32% stress-buffering

In cold cases, saving people’s lives with hugs may be the best solution. A study involving 404 healthy adults found that getting hugs reduces how susceptible you become to catching colds.

People who received greater social support were less likely to come down with a cold and researchers calculated that the stress-buffering effects of hugging explained 32% of the benefit. Those who felt greater social support and received hugs had a reduced risk of catching a cold.

20 seconds for the perfect hug

Though the average hug lasts for three seconds, you should try to do at least one long or two medium hugs with friends/family every day. The benefits of hugging include exercise, sense of calm, stimulation, and more!

Researchers have found that hugging releases oxytocin in the brain. This hormone it’s sometimes called the “cuddle hormone” or “the happy hormone” and when it’s released during these quick 20-second hugs, it can effectively lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones like cortisol.

How to Celebrate National Hugging Day?

National Hugging Day is a day of public demonstrations of love and support. It’s been around for over a decade now with the aim of creating a more compassionate society. If you’re looking for ways to show your support, National Hugging Day gives you some ideas on how to go about it.

To celebrate National Hugging Day, there are various activities that you can do such as giving hugs to people around you, watching films with happy endings, or just spending quality time with family and friends. The holidays are a time for giving thanks, so the key to sharing the love is spreading it. As people gather over the holidays, there’s one thing that’s sure to be on everyone’s mind: giving hugs.

The National Hugging Day organizers have a wide variety of types of hugs to suggest. A back-to-front hug is a type they recommend as it can be used as a way to cuddle up to somebody from behind. This could be the perfect way to show your love for someone from afar!

Another option is the bear hug. A bear hug has always been considered the ‘strongest’ type of hug. It is a way to express strength & to show that you are not afraid to embrace someone! Hugging can be done in many different ways; some people like to wrap their arms around the other person while others like to put their arms over their shoulders. One variation of this is to place your hands on the other person’s upper arm, providing physical comfort while speaking with them.

National Hugging Day organizers recommend that you stay in your usual range and avoid some of the more extreme pick-up techniques. Not only do you not need to lift people into the air & suffocate them but displays of love shouldn’t turn into a visit to the ER.

For people who are feeling comfortable with hugging someone while still maintaining a few feet of physical distance, the cheek hug is a more suggestive one for you.

Hugs are a way to connect people and their intentions. They can bring people together in a wholehearted, loving embrace. Decreasing fear and building communities are two things you might want to push forward during this time of year. If these are important values to your company, now is the time to help spread the word.

Some Benefits of National Hug Day

Trust Development

Research shows that hugs have a huge effect on our emotions and relationships. A hug will increase the oxytocin hormone and spread happiness and relaxation throughout your body. They also allow you to focus more clearly on communication with others since it helps build trust, increases vulnerability, and promotes self-disclosure.

Benefits The Body

Hugs strengthen the immune system. Hugs apply a slight pressure to the chest which might be relaxing, but it is known to regulate and protect your immune system. This type of stimulation can be achieved through practices such as yoga and meditation.

Reduces Fear

A study found that even just hugging a teddy bear helped soothe individuals’ existential angst. Touch and hugging in itself is such a powerful mechanism that items like these can help too!

Why Is International Hug Day So Popular in the Modern Era?

In the modern era, people use social media as a form of communication to share their feelings with the world. In particular, hugging has been a popular topic that people have been talking about online. However, why is the National Hug Day so popular in this era?

Many think it’s because we’re more open and accepting of other cultures and lifestyles. Others say it’s because we’re constantly interacting with others on social media and we want to show our appreciation for them by sharing the hug experience. Whatever the reason may be, International Hug Day has become very popular in recent years.

People tend to think that hugging is just for hugging. This isn’t true. Hugging is a social activity that can not only strengthen the bonds between people but also help to break down physical and emotional barriers. As a result, society is bound to be better off when everyone hugs their loved ones.

Indeed, National Hug Day is now officially one of the most important events today.

Happy National and International Hug Day to All!

Want to read about other important days in the month of January? Then click here.
Or if you want to read about important days of other months of the year, then check out “Important Days of the Year” category.

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