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National Hugging Day

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National Hug Day
Official nameNational Hug Day
Also calledNational Hug Day, International Hug Day, Global Hug Day
Observed byUnited States, United Kingdom - Globally
CelebrationsOffer hugs to others
DateJanuary 21st
Next time21 January 2025 (2025-01-21)

National Hugging Day is an annual event dedicated to hugging in the United States. It was created by Kevin Zaborney, a Christian pastor,[1][2] and occurs annually on January 21. The day was first celebrated in 1986, in Clio, Michigan.[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.

A couple celebrates National Hugging Day


Kevin Zaborney is credited with coming up with the idea of National Hugging Day in 1986. It was included in Chase's Calendar of Events; Zaborney's friend at the time was the granddaughter of the proprietors of the publication. He chose January 21st as it fell between the Christmas, New Year's Holidays, Valentine's Day, and birthdays when he found people are generally in low spirits.[1] Zaborney considered that "American society is embarrassed to show feelings in public" and hoped that a National Hugging Day would change that,[1] although he thought that his idea would fail.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Kevin Zaborney creates National Hug Day". People. Retrieved 13 April 2011.[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "National Hugging Day – One Pastor's Ingenious Idea". The Christian Post. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  3. ^ Zaborney, Kevin. "National Hugging Day (TM) – January 21". National Hugging Day Website (blog at WordPress.com). Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  4. ^ Woods, Tyler. "Today Is National Hug Day Which Means Good Health". EmaxHealth. Archived from the original on 24 September 2021. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
  5. ^ "What is National Hug Day?". International Business Times. 21 January 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011.

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