World Hug Day

Held on : 21st January

Humans live in a repressed society, which has still not freed itself from the prison of puritanical prudery. Friendly hugs are not to be confused with petting and cuddling. They're a form of social signalling which can be used to express delight at meeting an old friend, or to console someone who's been bereaved. At other times they're exchanged as a sign of shared joy. Studies show that it offers human beings profound psychosocial benefits. It also triggers beneficial physiological changes, including a lowering of blood pressure and an increase in the circulatory levels of the relaxing 'cuddle' hormone oxytocin. World Hug Day is thus an easy and peaceful way of spreading peace, love


On January 21st 1986 National Hugging Day was founded in the U.S.A. The movement started in 1986 when a Michigan vicar, the Rev Kevin Zaborney, was feeling a trifle low and in desperate need of human sympathy and support. So, risking the ridicule of passers-by, he went into the local square wearing a 'Free Hugs' sign. The response to this strange offer was so wholehearted, and widely publicised, that the event quickly spread around the world and became a Global Event.

In Australia, a man known only by the pseudonym 'Juan Mann', was feeling depressed and lonely following a sequence of personal problems. He went to a party, feeling particularly dejected and forlorn, and a complete stranger sensing his mood, came up to him and gave him a consoling hug. 'I felt like a king!,' he later recalled 'It was the greatest thing that ever happened.' The effect was so dramatic, that he took up his place in the central mall in Sydney and, like the Rev Zaborney, invited strangers to give him a hug. Most people thought him a complete nutter, but after fifteen minutes an elderly lady plucked up courage and gave him an embrace. Over the next few weeks more and more people responded to his 'Free Hugs' invitation. This caused such a stir that the police tried to bring his activities to a halt. They told him that he must quit his pitch unless he took out costly public liability insurance in case he was sued for indecent assault. This was a groundless argument, for hugs can never be considered a form of sexual harassment when they're freely shared by consenting adults. Since then it has spread all over the world and is called by many names.


On this day propagators of this day organise various Events:

  • People create a a National Hugging Day chain or maybe set a world record whilst doing so.
  • Promoters of this event hold a Hug-a-thon (Hugging Marathon) at home, church, or anywhere.
  • People hand out National Hugging Day limited edition Hug Coupons.
  • Some people take or rent a bear costume and visit children or senior adults as a "Bear Hugger."
  • Schools or Senior care facilities also promote this day.
  • Some websites promote and give ideas as to how celebrate this day. Some of these are http://www.nationalhuggingday.com/, http://www.world-hug-day.net/, http://worldpeace.org.au/index.asp etc.
  • These sites also encourage people to hug and feature them on their site.

Alternate Names -  Hug Day, Send a Hug Day, International Hug Day, Hug a Bear Day.

Holiday Status - It is not a Holiday.

Important days in January
  Page Views: 3197 | Updated On: 05-Jan-2015