What Is Hug Day?


To some, hugging seems like second nature. To others, though, they need some gentle coaxing before they'll give anyone a hug. Either way, hugging is a very positive action between two people and, because of that, it is no wonder National Hug Day was enacted.


National Hug Day was first celebrated Jan. 21, 1986. National Hug Day, which is meant to help people understand the benefits of hugging, is not only celebrated in the United States. The Rev. Kevin Zaborney of Michigan created the holiday. Other countries, such as Canada, Russia and China also "embrace" this yearly holiday. Events in schools, nursing homes, hospitals and libraries have been held yearly ever since this holiday was founded.


There are many ways to celebrate this holiday beyond giving your family members a hug in the morning before heading off to work or school. If you're a parent, you can create crafts with your kids focused on the holiday to bring to Senior Centers, to give to family members as gifts, or to share with their friends at school. You can also start your own specialized celebration groups through church, school, the library, or nursing homes.


Did you know hugging makes you smarter? Yes, it's true! Research has found that hugging stimulates brain cells. According to intelligence researcher Jay Gordon, M.D., co-author of "Brighter Baby," new studies show that children who get some SUSTAINED form of touching, such as a LONG HUG EVERYDAY, are SMARTER. "The more physical contact a little one gets, the more the brain cells are stimulated, creating stronger, faster brain synapses and boosting IQ." (This quote, along with other information, can be found on the Resource Link below). So, hugging is important beyond that of an emotional standpoint. Research has proven this.


National Hug Day is a means of expressing the importance of hugging throughout the year. Yes, you can give gifts (a hug makes a nice gift) and you can celebrate (create a hug chain) on the specific day. However, spreading this kind of celebration out on a daily basis is very positive and beneficial to everyone. Hugs have a way of communicating numerous emotions without the need to speak. For those who have difficulty expressing themselves verbally, a hug might be exactly what they need.


Items, such as the Limited Edition 2008 pin from Disney, are available to purchase in order to celebrate National Hug Day. (See the Resource link below.) Other memorabilia from other retailers includes posters, T-shirts and hats. Because this holiday is one of those rare moments when a gift can be given and received simultaneously, it only seems fitting to commemorate it with items reminding us all of the importance of a hug.