Outside the window — frost and Blizzard, and the soul is warm and joyful. All because today is a holiday-the day of hugs! Cuddle with family and friends, with acquaintances and strangers, just to share the warmth and get a little warmth in return.
Date… or dates
There are several versions of such a warm and vibrant celebration: International, national, world and just hug Day. None of these options are officially recognized, but this does not prevent young people from all over the world to arrange hugs on the chosen day.
- The world and he is also national hug day– January 21. In 2021, it falls on a Thursday. This is the most common variation of the date, and most young people focus on January when organizing events in honor of National Hugging Day.
- International hug day– International Hug Day-celebrated on December 4. In 2021, it’s a Saturday.
- There is also justHug day. It is celebrated in Japan on August 9. In 2021, it will be a Monday.
How it appeared
There is no exact data on how a new holiday or at least one of its versions appeared in the calendar. However, there are several variants of the occurrence history.
National Hugging Day is originally from the USA. In the mid-eighties of the last century, students of the national University decided to hold a mass action (today it would be called a flash mob). They went out into the street and hugged passersby-just like that, without any subtext. Initially, there was some research interest in the campaign – students studied mainly at the faculties of psychology and medicine and were well aware of the practical benefits of touch. However, the event was so fun and interesting that it was repeated the following year. And then the next one. And then another and another. And in a few years, the holiday has grown to almost a national celebration, and then gained the status of a world one.
The history of the International day is not so reliable and is based mostly on General rumors and legends. In the early seventies, a young man named Juan (in other versions, John or James) flew to Sydney. He traveled without any specific purpose and no one met him in the arrival hall. Seeing the crowds of happy, hugging people, Juan was sad – he also wanted a warm hug. And then he came up with a brilliant idea, as subsequent events showed. He took an ordinary piece of paper and wrote Free Hugs on it with a marker. He stood at the entrance with his makeshift poster. At first, people just looked at the strange young man and cautiously avoided him. However, then a woman approached Juan and admitted that no one met her, and she would like a little friendly concern and warmth after a long flight. So the first hug took place. The example was contagious. With Juan hugged by complete strangers, his act was written in local Newspapers. Several Sydney residents picked up the idea and began offering hugs on the streets, at gas stations, and in stores. Hugs with strangers spread beyond the continent, and the date of the very first hugs was declared a holiday-International Hug Day.
Since the holiday is unofficial, there is no single organization that oversees any special events. So everything that is held on this holiday can be called a flash mob. But what a space for creativity arises among local activists! Parties, mass hugs, contests “who will hold you tight”, even records that are then entered in the Guinness Book of records – there are many options to celebrate the holiday.
The main tradition, of course, is hugs with complete strangers. They are usually called free-from the very first self-made student posters Free Hugs.
The benefits of hugs
The fact that hugs bring not only joy, but also benefit is an established fact. Medical research proves:
- Close contact affects Pacini bodies-receptors that respond to external pressure on the skin and vibration. Taurus helps to reduce nervous excitement and normalize blood pressure.
- Reduce the level of stress – the stronger the hug, the calmer the person becomes.
- Touching creates a sense of security and confidence, and helps fight fears.
Psychologists say that hugging a person ceases to feel lonely – there is a sense of belonging, comfort. And we call this process much easier-hugging means sharing warmth and love.