- January 21 -

Hugging Day

Hug Day or Hugging Day is an annual holiday created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney. It occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday. The holiday was founded on March 29, 1986 in Caro, Michigan, and has since spread to multiple...

Hugging Day

Hug Day or Hugging Day is an annual holiday created by Rev. Kevin Zaborney. It occurs on January 21 and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office, but is not a public holiday. The holiday was founded on March 29, 1986 in Caro, Michigan, and has since spread to multiple countries. The purpose for the holiday is to help everyone show more emotion in public. There is only one way you are supposed to celebrate the holiday, offer a hug to anyone and everyone you want. While Hug Day and the Free Hugs Campaign share many similarities, there is not actual association between the two. Whether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same.

History

Kevin Zaborney is credited for creating the holiday in 1986. The date of January 21 was chosen because it marks a midpoint between Christmas and Valentines day, where people are figured to be at their emotional low. The holiday was created because Zaborney felt like Americans are embarrassed to show their feelings in public and hoped that a Hug 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 assumed that his idea wouldn't go anywhere and that he would be mocked. 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 Hug 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.

Association with the Free Hugs Campaign

In 2004 the Free Hugs Campaign was launched, which involved 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 Hug Day shares with the Free Hugs Campaign. However, Hug Day has one specific day that encourages you to give out hugs, where 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 Hug Day, there is no association between the two groups.
Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Hug_Day

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