National Hug Your Sweetheart Day

Happy couple in a warm embrace, surrounded by hearts, wearing cozy sweaters, with a romantic sunset backdrop..
National hug your sweetheart day illustration

Whoever said 'Love is in the air' probably said it on National Hug Your Sweetheart Day because, well, on this day, love literally hugs the air! But what's the history behind all this cuddling? Let's take a snuggly journey back in time together.

When is Hug Your Sweetheart Day?

It's national hug your sweetheart day on the 23rd August.

Origins of National Hug Your Sweetheart Day

While the exact origin of National Hug Your Sweetheart Day remains shrouded in the warm, cuddly mystique that envelops any good love story, it's safe to say that it has been embraced (pun totally intended) by people around the globe. Detected 18 times in online mentions, it definitely seemed to peak everyone's affection on 23 August 2018. That’s two whole years before the pandemic emerged. Does that mean we predicted the need for virtual hugs? Pretty cuddly-psychic, right?

Why National Hug Your Sweetheart Day?

Imagine a day dedicated to simply squeezing your partner, best friend or anyone 'sweet' in your life (pets included!). A hug has therapeutic and healing powers and is a universal sign of comfort. Plus, it's an excellent opportunity to remind that special someone just how much you care. So, in brief, love your sweetheart? Show it in person, gesture wide and open...or in a text with the right emoticons. (Hint: it’s hard to go wrong with the heart eyes and hug emojis).

How to celebrate?

Easy peasy! Just hug your sweetheart. You can also make the day extra special with a heartfelt note, a surprise date, or a sweet treat. And if you can't be near your loved ones due to distance or 'cough' global pandemics, consider a virtual hug or a post sharing the love on social media.

History behind the term 'Hug Your Sweetheart'


Valentine's Day popularity grows

Valentine's Day, a holiday dedicated to love and romance, has been celebrated for centuries. In the early 20th century, the holiday gained significant popularity in Western countries, symbolizing the expression of affection towards loved ones.


The rise of physical affection

During the 1950s, a decade characterized by an emphasis on family values, personal relationships, and traditional gender roles, physical affection became increasingly important. Hugging, a gesture of warmth, closeness, and love, started to become more common in romantic relationships.


Popularization of the term 'hug your sweetheart'

In the 1980s, the term 'hug your sweetheart' started gaining popularity as a way to encourage people to show physical affection towards their partners on Valentine's Day. The phrase captured the essence of the holiday, emphasizing the importance of embracing and expressing love through a warm hug.


National Hug Your Sweetheart Day is established

Recognizing the significance of hugging as an expression of love, National Hug Your Sweetheart Day was established in 2002. This special day encourages people to hug their sweethearts and celebrate their love through this simple yet meaningful act of physical affection. It serves as a reminder of the importance of connecting with loved ones on a deeper level.


Continued celebration of National Hug Your Sweetheart Day

Today, National Hug Your Sweetheart Day is celebrated annually on February 12th, just two days before Valentine's Day. It has become a beloved tradition for many couples around the world. The day encourages individuals to express their love and appreciation for their sweethearts by giving them a warm embrace. Hugging offers a tangible way to strengthen the bond between couples and create lasting memories.

Did you know?

Did you know a full-body hug stimulates the nervous system, releasing Oxytocin? That's why you feel all warm and fuzzy inside when you get a great hug!


romance fun love embrace national day relationship caring sweetheart

First identified

23rd August 2015

Most mentioned on

23rd August 2018

Total mentions


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