National Hugging Day 2021

National Hugging Day  is an annual event dedicated to hugging. It was created by Kevin Zaborney [1][2] and occurs annually on January 21st. The day was first celebrated on January 21, 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA.[3] The holiday is also observed in many other countries.[4][5] The idea of National Hug Day is to encourage everyone to hug family and friends more often.[1] Zaborney cautions to ask first if one is unsure of the response as respecting the personal space of others is always important and some people are not huggers.

national hug day

The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. The only way to celebrate the day is by offering 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.


  1. Hug a friend

    We’re sure you have tons of friends, you’re popular person. And with tons of friends comes tons of hugs. Close your eyes and think about how much you love your friend when hugging him or her. Next, press as much as you feel like without squeezing too tight. Try out different hug variations with different friends and perfect your perfect hug. A hug is just like a handshake; everyone knows how to do it, but it takes a true master to do it right.

  2. Hug a stranger

    In this age of social disconnection and lack of human contact, most people are unsure how to go about hugging random people. However, hugging a stranger is more therapeutic than you think; the effects of giving free hugs to strangers are phenomenal. One method we suggest is holding a “free hugs” sign. That way, you know that the stranger consents to the hug you’re about to give them. It’s a lot less awkward and inappropriate than trying to hug a random stranger on the subway!

  3. Hug yourself

    Getting a hug is a great feeling. It can instantly lift your mood, making you feel safe and appreciated. Sometimes, however, there isn’t anybody around to give you that hug you need. When you need it the most, wrap your hands around yourself and hug yourself tightly. You might think that’s weird, but hear us out. Friends are great, but you’re the star of your own life. And you should love yourself like a star! That means making lots of time for self-care and self-love. So self-hug away.


    1. Hugging builds trust

      The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication. Hugs instantly help increase oxytocin levels, which heal and combat feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger. We can all take a lesson from this: next time, when you feel like fighting with your significant other, stop … and give your significant other a hug instead. It will give you time to calm down and remind you two of your close connection.

    2. Hugging is healthy

      Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum creates an emotional charge that activates the solar plexus chakra. This in turn stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells. Hugs also affect the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system post-hug. What does this all mean in English? It just means that hugs are good for you! They’re good for your emotional state, but they’re also good for your physical body. One might even say that hugs are the best medicine! (That being said, if you get sick, please go to a doctor. We’re not joking.)

    3. Hugs may alleviate our fears

      Scientists found that hugging — even if it was just an inanimate object like a teddy bear — helps soothe individuals’ existential fears. Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that can simulate touch by another person help instill a sense of existential significance. If you think about it, you’ll understand why: it doesn’t matter if we’re a tiny speck in the universe as long as you’re loved.

      HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalHuggingDay

      Give someone a big hug. Or, if you need one, ask for a hug and reap the benefits.  Use #NationalHuggingDay to post on social media.


      The holiday was founded by Rev. Kevin Zaborney on March 29, 1986, in Caro, Michigan.

      There are over 1,500 national days. Don’t miss a single one. Celebrate Every Day® with National Day Calendar®!


      Year Date Day
      2020 January 21 Tuesday
      2021 January 21 Thursday
      2022 January 21 Friday
      2023 January 21 Saturday
      2024 January 21 Sunday

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