National Hugs Day

Group of diverse friends, wearing colorful clothing, sharing warm hugs at a beautiful park surrounded by blooming flowers..
National hugs day illustration

Ladies and Gentlemen, grab your teddy bears and open up your arms! We're about to embark on a heartwarming, rib-crushing journey through National Hugs Day. A day where personal space is happily invaded, and heartbeats are shared between close companions. The most 'hugging-est' day of the year. Be warned: not even the grumpiest of Grinches can escape the embrace of this day!

When is Hugs Day?

It's national hugs day on the 21st January.

The Heart-Warming History of National Hugs Day

Born out of a desire to connect people (quite literally), National Hugs Day made its snugly debut on the Internet back on January 21, 2016. Within the blink of an eye, the day garnered a whopping 2925 mentions online, squeezing its way into the heart of the cyberspace.

The essence of this day is simple: give a hug, get a hug, spread the love. Sheltered under the all-encompassing arms of this day, differences dissipate, and bonds are formed or at least, reaffirmed. After all, who can stay mad when they're being bear-hugged?

A Loving Embrace

National Hugs Day isn't merely about the physical act of hugging. It's about sealing love, comfort, and reassurance within the walls of our arms. So, on this day, humans worldwide open their arms and, rather bravely, their hearts to friends, families, and sometimes, kind strangers. It's a day when the world seems a little softer, a little kinder, and a lot warmer.

More than Just a Hug

Scientists believe hugging releases oxytocin, often referred to as the 'cuddle hormone'. This heartening hormone reduces stress, improves mood, and increases bonding. So, there's enough proof as to why we should be doling out free hugs not just on National Hugs Day but every day!

History behind the term 'Hugs'


Invention of the term

The term 'hugs' was first coined in 1986 as a playful and affectionate way to describe the act of embracing someone with open arms. It quickly gained popularity due to its simplicity and effectiveness in conveying warm and positive emotions. The word 'hug' itself has Germanic origins, deriving from the Old Norse word 'hugga,' which means 'to comfort' or 'to embrace.'


Hug Therapy

In 1995, the concept of 'hug therapy' emerged as a form of alternative healing and stress relief. Hugging was believed to release oxytocin, often referred to as the 'love hormone,' which promotes feelings of trust, bonding, and well-being. Hug therapy gained popularity as a way to improve mental health, reduce anxiety, and foster emotional connections.


Free Hugs Campaign

In 2010, the 'Free Hugs Campaign' gained global attention. Started by an Australian man named Juan Mann, it involved offering free hugs to strangers as a means of spreading love, compassion, and unity. The campaign became viral through videos shared on social media, inspiring countless individuals around the world to engage in random acts of kindness through hugs.


National Hugging Day

National Hugging Day, celebrated on January 21st each year, was created by Kevin Zaborney in 1986 but gained significant recognition in 2017. This day encourages people to embrace the power of hugs and celebrate the positive impact they have on individuals and communities. It promotes the importance of physical touch, emotional support, and building stronger connections with others.


Hugs in the modern era

Today, hugs continue to be an integral part of human interaction and expression of affection. They have become a universal symbol of comfort, empathy, and celebration. With the rise of technology, virtual hugs and emojis representing hugs have also become popular, enabling people to convey love and support even across digital platforms. Hugs transcend cultural boundaries, reminding us of the power of human connection.

Did you know?

Did you know that in addition to making us feel good, hugging has health benefits too? Hugging for 20 seconds a day can lower risk of heart disease, combat stress and fatigue, boost the immune system, fight infections, and ease depression. So, go on and give a hug to give a health boost!


romance awareness fun loved ones bonding connection

First identified

3rd May 2015

Most mentioned on

21st January 2016

Total mentions


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