National Hug Day

National Hug Day is a holiday that is celebrated on January 21st annually. As its name implies, this holiday is one in which people are encouraged to hug one another. You can hug family members, friends, or even strangers if you want to—just be sure to ask them first.

Hugging is not only a way for people to show affection to one another, but hugging also provides distinct health benefits to both parties involved. Just another reason to celebrate this holiday and to give loved ones the hug they deserve.

National Hug Day History

According to popular sources, National Hug Day was first created by Kevin Zaborney in 1986. He decided to choose the 21st of January for this holiday because it fell in between the Christmas holidays and Valentine’s Day.

The main reason he decided to create this holiday was that he felt that American society was too timid about hugging or expressing feelings in public, so he created this day to hopefully help to change that narrative.

Facts About Hugging

Most people think that they know everything they need to know about hugging, but we’re here to challenge that assertion. We feel that there are quite a few things about hugging that people aren’t aware of, and we know because we were quite surprised about some of the facts we uncovered during our research. So, let’s take a look at some amazing facts about hugging that we think everyone can appreciate.

  • Hugs release oxytocin—a hormone that promotes trust between individuals and helps with depressive feelings.
  • Most people begin their hugs by leading in with their right arms.
  • A hug can increase self-esteem, defuse tension, and combat fear.
  • Hugging has also been shown to lower a person’s blood pressure.
  • Cuddling with your significant other can help boost both parties’ immune systems.
  • Hugging also helps to relieve pain—once again, thanks to the hormone oxytocin.
  • Cuddling increases dopamine and that helps strengthen a couple’s sexual desires for one another.
  • Hugging helps to fight fatigue and may lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Hugging a person or even an inanimate object such as a Teddy Bear can help a person deal with stress and/or fear.
  • The average hug is approximately 3.17 seconds.
  • Hugging is at least 6,000-years old, if not older.
  • Humans are not the only animals that hug. Other animal species such as monkeys also hug one another.

Observing National Hug Day

If you want to observe this holiday, all you have to do is to find someone to hug. This can be your significant other, a family member, a friend, or some other willing participant. It’s also a good day to spread the message of this holiday by using the hashtag #NationalHugDay on all of your social media accounts.

When is it?
This year (2023)
January 21 Saturday
Next year (2024)
January 21 Sunday
Last year (2022)
January 21 Friday
Relationships & Family