National Hug Day

A heartwarming image of a person embracing their mailman, expressing love and gratitude. The mailman is wearing their postal uniform, and the scene showcases a friendly neighborhood with colorful houses and blooming flowers..
National hug day illustration

Gather 'round, folks, because it's time to learn about the day when it's okay to give bear hugs to your mailman. Yes, we're talking about National Hug Day, which, as our eagle-eyed data miners unearthed, has had a grand total of 100290 mentions online!

When is Hug Day?

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

Can I Really Hug My Mailman?

That probably depends on how well you know your mailman, or how startled they'd be. But yes, in essence, National Hug Day, celebrated on the 21st of January, is about spreading love and warmth through the simple action of hugging. It's like Christmas, but without the snow, the presents, the food, and...well, it's actually not like Christmas, but it's still a wonderful time!

A Brief Hugstory

The big hug-off began in 1986 when Reverend Kevin Zaborney, based in Michigan, declared the 21st of January as a day for encouraging folks to show their feelings (non-verbally, of course). And, like cupcakes at a diet convention, the idea quickly caught on. The reverend probably never imagined his small-town idea would echo in the global corridors of the internet, reaching its peak online popularity on 21 Jan 2016.

Hugs are Universal!

Not many forms of affection can claim to be universal, but hugs really are. They can mean anything from 'Congratulations on your promotion!' to 'Sorry about the goldfish.'. So, whether it’s your neighbor who looks a bit blue, your friend who’s just aced a difficult exam, or your sofa that’s extra fluffy – go give them a hug (though we're not sure if sofas appreciate it).

Join the Fun!

So, there you have it. A brief history of National Hug Day: a testament to mankind's ability to turn a simple gesture into a force that has thousands of people every year saying, 'Aww, come here, you!'. So, this January 21st, why not join in the fun? Just remember - the secret to a good hug is enthusiasm... but not so much that you have an assault case on your hands!

History behind the term 'Hug'

viking age

The Origins

Hugs have been ingrained in human culture for centuries. The word 'hug' derives from the Old Norse word 'hugga,' meaning 'to soothe' or 'to console.' The Vikings, renowned for their fierce demeanor, used hugs as a form of greeting and to express warm emotions.


Embrace in Western Culture

It was during the 18th century that the custom of embracing as a form of greeting began to emerge in Western culture. Hugging became a way to show affection, and it eventually became more common in personal relationships.


The Birth of National Hugging Day

National Hugging Day is celebrated annually on January 21st. Kevin Zaborney, a motivational speaker from Michigan, created this day in 1986. The purpose of this day is to encourage people to openly express their emotions through hugging and to spread kindness and positivity.


The Power of Hugs

Scientific studies have shown that hugs can have profound effects on our well-being. They release oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding and reducing stress. Hugs also promote feelings of security, trust, and happiness. As a universal gesture of comfort and affection, hugs continue to play a vital role in our lives.

Did you know?

Did you know that hugs aren't just nice - they're good for you? They can lower your heart rate and produce oxytocin - the 'feel-good hormone'. So next time someone asks why you're hugging them, tell them you're just looking out for their health!


awareness fun friendship love warmth hugging national hug day community spirit

First identified

10th March 2015

Most mentioned on

21st January 2016

Total mentions


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