National Hugging Day is an annual event dedicated to hugging. It was created by Kevin Zaborney and occurs annually on January 21. The day was first celebrated on January 21, 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA but is not a public holiday. The holiday is also observed in many other countries. The purpose of the day is to encourage everyone to hug family and friends more often as well as show more emotion in public. Zaborney cautions to ask first if one is unsure of the response.
There is only one way you are supposed to celebrate; offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want. While National Hug Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is not an association between the two. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same.
Kevin Zaborney is credited with coming up with the idea of National Hugging Day in 1986. It was included in Chase’s Calendar of Events; Zaborney’s friend at the time was the granddaughter of the proprietors of the publication. He chose January 21st as it fell between the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays and Valentine’s Day and birthdays when he found people are generally in low spirits. Zaborney considered that “society is embarrassed to show feelings in public” and hoped that a National Hugging Day would change that, although he thought that his idea would fail.
Give someone a big hug and use #NationalHuggingDay to post on social media.