According to the National Day Calendar website,

National Hugging Day was created by Kevin Zaborney thirty years ago. The goal is to offer an embrace as long as it is welcome. There is a lot of research about the mental and physical benefits of being hugged and hugging someone or something. For many of us, stroking a pet or cuddling with a teddy bear does the trick. The Big Squeeze: Hugs & Inspirations for Every Grown-Up Who Loves Teddy Bears by Susan Mangiero is an inspirational photo essay gift book that takes a fun look at hugging.

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