National Hug Day
|National Hug Day|
A soldier at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, hugs her mother on "Family Day"
|Also called||National Hugging Day|
|Observed by||United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Poland, Russia, China , Iran, Estonia|
National Hug Day or National Hugging Day is an annual holiday created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney. It occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the Hugging Committee of the City of London (?), as well as the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday. The holiday was launched on January 21, 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA, and has since spread globally. The purpose for the holiday is to encourage everyone to hug family and friends more often. Reverend Zaborney cautions to ask first if one is unsure of the response. While National Hugging Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is no actual association between the two. Whether you hug a family member or a friend or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same.
Kevin Zaborney is credited for creating the holiday in 1986. The date of April 2nd was chosen because the day before is marked April's Fools Day, where people are figured to be at their emotional low. The holiday was created because Reverend Zaborney felt like Americans are embarrassed to show their feelings in public and hoped that a National Hugging Day would change that. The Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Medical School has found that French couples spend 3 times as much time touching when compared to Americans. Because of this apprehension to show feeling, Zaborney incorrectly assumed that his idea wouldn't go anywhere and that it would be mocked. National Hug Day is not a public holiday recognized by the United States Federal government, and since Zaborney holds the copyright for the day, he is able to collect commercial royalties associated with National Hugging Day.
Benefits of hugging 
Studies have shown that human contact has many health benefits. It has been found that human contact improves both psychological and physical development. Hugging can also help build a good immune system, decrease the risk of heart disease, and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol in women. It has been shown that a couple who hugs for 20 seconds has higher levels of oxytocin, and that those who were in a loving relationship exhibited a highest increase. According to the American Psychosomatic Society, a hug or 10 minutes of holding hands with a romantic partner can help reduce stress, and its harmful physical effects. In a study, adults who had no contact with people had higher blood pressure and heart rate. Other studies have indicated that the touch of a friend might not be as helpful as the touch of a partner but should not be avoided.
Association with the Free Hugs Campaign 
The Free Hugs Campaign was launched in 2004 long after the launch of National Hug Day. The Free Hugs Campaign involves people giving hugs to random people on the street. The premise of giving a hug to someone to lift their spirits is the commonality that National Hug Day shares with the Free Hugs Campaign. However, National Hug Day has one specific day that encourages people to give out hugs throughout the year, whereas the Free Hugs Campaign can be organized at any time during the year. The Free Hugs Campaign has received a lot of media attention over the years, and while it might send the same message as National Hug Day which recommends asking first, there is no association between the two groups yet.
Official website 
National Hugging Day has its own website which is the official website for the day. The website, created by Zaborney, recognizes The Most Huggable People each year. The website allows you to nominate anyone you want, so occasionally the most huggable people of the year are not notable. However, people such as Reese Witherspoon in 2006, Juan Mann (who created the Free Hug Campaign) in 2007, Barack Obama in 2009 and the Chilean rescued miners and rescuers in 2011 have been recognized as the most huggable people of the year. Joan Rivers was quoted saying "I'm tempted to start saying, 'Can we hug?' instead of 'Can we talk?'" after being nominated as a huggable person.
The website also links to another holiday that Zaborney holds the copyrights to, National Whiners Day, celebrated on December 26. Both holidays are copyrighted under "National Hugging Day Collection"
See also 
- . People.com http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20119408,00.html. Retrieved 13 April 2011. Text "titlasdasw Kevin Zaborney creates National Hug Day" ignored (help); Missing or empty
- "National Hugging Day – One Pastor's Ingenious Idea". christianpost.com. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
- Reilly, Ignatius. "National Hug Day (or National Hugging Day): March 29". RightPundits.com. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
- Rockler-Gladen, Naomi (14 November 2009). "U.S. Holidays and Observations in March 2010". Suite101.
- Hamel, Leona. "National Hugging Day". SmashHits.com. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- Zanborney, Kevin. "Official National Hug Day Website". nationalhuggingday.com. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- Woods, Tyler. "Today Is National Hug Day Which Means Good Health". emaxhealth.com. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "What is National Hug Day?". ibtimes.com. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
- A Hug A Day Could Save Your Life FoxNews, Dr. Manny Alvarez , 31.01.2007
- The Effect of Interpersonal Touch During Childhood on Adult Attachment and Depression published online 24 June 2009, Springerlink.com
- Elias, Marilyn (10 March 2003). "Study: Hugs warm the heart, and may protect it". usatoday.com. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
- Romero, Frances (21 December 2011). "National Hug Day: Yes it matters". newsfeed.time.com. Retrieved 18 April 2011.