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National Hug Holiday Week – May 7-13, 2023

National Hug Holiday Week is observed each year from May 7 to 13. The objective of the day is simple — to envelop your loved ones in warm hugs. National Hug Holiday Week is also a celebration of the intimacy and closeness that we feel in the company of friends and family. Hugs are a form of greeting and farewell, and even when the person is not in front of you, you can send them emojis of hugs! A cute GIF or a sticker can also convey your hug to your friends. Celebrate National Hug Holiday Week by hugging everyone whom you love.

History of National Hug Holiday Week

National Hug Holiday Week was introduced by Kevin Zaborney. He came up with the idea of this holiday in 1986. National Hug Holiday Week encourages us to hug everyone — family, friends, or strangers, and only if they consent to it.

Hugging is not just good for your soul, it also has many benefits for our health. Research has proven that hugging helps strengthen our immune system and decreases the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, and triggers the release of good hormones. The release of oxytocin during hugging makes us feel happy and secure. A hug or just a few minutes of holding hands with a romantic partner can help reduce stress and combat its physical manifestations. This means every time you hug, you add years to your life! It is time to become the new hugging champion.

National Hug Holiday Week encourages consensual hugging as a means to meaningfully connect with one another. The lessons from this week also inculcate global community values of love and kindness where people are encouraged to come together in grace and acceptance. One of the objectives of the week is also to heal from emotional trauma through means of physical contact. Interestingly, some people are better at hugging than others. The record for most hugs given by one person in one hour belongs to Nick Vujicic who hugged 1,749 people in Oregon in 2010. Do you think you could beat his record this National Hug Holiday Week?

National Hug Holiday Week timeline

1986
The First Celebrations

National Hug Holiday Week is celebrated for the first time.

2009
“Hug Book”

Jez Alborough’s children’s book is an instant hit.

2015
Hug Emoji

The emoji first appears in the iOS 9 update.

2018
‘The Hug Song’

‘The Hug Song’ is released, which is sung by Colin Ballinger and written by a three-year-old.

National Hug Holiday Week FAQs

What happens when you hug someone?

When we hug, our bodies release ‘feel good’ hormones. These hormones include oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin and make us feel relaxed and happy.

What happens if you hug someone for 20 seconds?

Hugging someone you love for 20 seconds a day can beat stress and burnout, according to a new study.

Is there a hug emoji?

Yes, the hugging face emoji was approved in 2015 under Unicode 8.0.

National Hug Holiday Week Activities

  1. Hug your friends

    Celebrate National Hug Holiday Week by hugging your friends and loved ones. Do the bear hug, the back hug, the side hug. Truly, there are so many different types of hugs to choose from.

  2. Hug a stranger

    A nice way to show someone that you care is by hugging them. Make your love felt by hugging a stranger during National Hug Holiday Week — however, don't forget to ask for consent first.

  3. Send virtual hugs

    Want to hug a friend or loved one who isn’t physically around? Then send them virtual hugs. Pick from a wide selection of emojis, stickers, and GIFs.

5 Surprising Facts About Hugs

  1. The word has its roots in Scandinavian

    It comes from the word ‘hugga’ meaning “to comfort.”

  2. It was a way to ensure safety

    Since stabbing requires at least one hand, people would hug to show they mean no harm.

  3. It’s good for babies

    Babies should be hugged frequently to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.

  4. It’s good for the heart

    Hugging reduces blood pressure and cortisol production.

  5. Hugs for health

    Eight hugs a day can significantly improve our health.

Why We Love National Hug Holiday Week

  1. It makes us happy

    Hugging is the easiest way to make someone happy. And imagine a week-long celebration of hugging — you will make so many people’s days. This is why we love National Hug Holiday Week.

  2. It’s good for your health

    Hugging helps reduce stress and releases healthy hormones in our bloodstream. Hugging strengthens our immune system too. National Hug Holiday Week is good for the soul and body.

  3. It makes the world a better place

    Celebrations such as National Hug Holiday Week make the world a better place. It reminds us that with small actions, we can bring love and joy to those around us.

National Hug Holiday Week dates

YearDateDay
2023May 7Sunday
2024May 7Tuesday
2025May 7Wednesday
2026May 7Thursday
2027May 7Friday

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