Hug Day: Today is National Hug Day

January 21, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Venus Williams of the US (R) hugs Andrea Petkovic of Germany after retiring from her third round women's singles match on the fifth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2011. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)
Venus Williams of the US (R) hugs Andrea Petkovic of Germany after retiring from her third round women's singles match on the fifth day of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne on January 21, 2011. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)
If you have wondered why your co-workers or perhaps people on the subway have been more affectionate than usual, look no further: Friday, Jan. 21, is National Hug Day.

Also known as National Hugging Day, it follows the newly named National Coffee Break Day that saw its first celebration on Jan. 20, showing that there is literally a day for everything.

However, National Hug Day is recognized by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and was founded 25 years ago in Caro, Mich., by Rev. Kevin Zaborney, according to the site’s website.

As the International Business Times notes, when people hug for 20 seconds, it increases their levels of oxytocin, a hormone that can increase feelings of empathy.