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National Hugging Day 

January 21

National Hugging Day is an annual event dedicated to hugging. It was created by Kevin Zaborney and occurs annually on January 21 and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday. The day was first celebrated on January 21, 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA. Some might even say that hugging is contagious as the holiday has also spread to several other countries


The idea of National Hugging Day is to encourage everyone to hug family and friends more often. There is only one way you are supposed to celebrate the holiday, offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want. It is prudent to ask first if one is unsure of the response. January 21 was chosen 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 “American 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.

National Hugging Day

It has been said that hugs and hugging are good for our health and emotions. Scientists found that hugging, even if it was just an inanimate object like a teddy bear, helps soothe individuals’ existential fears. Hugs strengthen the immune system by stimulating and regulate reactions within our bodies to activate conditions and organs in our body. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication. Hugs instantly help heal and combat feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

Take this National Hugging Day to encourage everyone to hug family, friends, and strangers more often. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same.


January 21
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