This global event was created in 1986 to encourage family and friends to celebrate the positive experience of hugging. Creator Kevin Zaborney chose January 21 as it fell between Christmas, New Year's, and Valentine's Day, a time when he found people are generally in low spirits. So if you are not sure who and how to hug, we have provided some inspirational photos and some pics of historic hugs to get you in the mood.
Britain's Diana, the Princess of Wales, hugs and plays with an HIV-positive baby in Faban Hostel, São Paulo, on April 24, 1991, on the second day of her visit to Brazil.
Vitali Klitschk (left) of Ukraine hugs his brother Wladimir Klitschko (right) after beating Nigerian boxer Samuel Peter in their WBC heavyweight boxing world championship fight in Berlin, October 11, 2008.
Remember to grab your partner and let them have it. It's not a real quality hug unless your knees touch theirs.
Locked in a bitter rivalry for decades? Take a time out for a warm embrace — just watch the hair, please.
Doesn't that hug from your coach make all that hard work worth it? German gymnast Fabian Hambuchen hugs his coach after his performance during the artistic gymnastics men's apparatus finals for the horizontal bar at the 2012 Summer Olympics, August 7, in London.
Sgt. Brandon Morgan (right) is embraced by his partner, Dalan Wells, in a helicopter hangar at a Marine base in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, upon returning from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in this photo taken February 22, 2012. The photo, taken five months after the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy prohibiting open service by gay, lesbian, and bisexual troops, is among the first showing a gay active duty serviceman in uniform kissing his partner at a homecoming. It set the Internet on fire.
Rock Hudson gives superstar Dusty Springfield love, laughter, and a warm hug.
What can we tell you? Soccer is a passionate game. Schalke's Franco di Santo is embraced by his head coach, Andre Breitenreiter, after scoring his side's third goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and Hannover 96 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, December 4, 2015.
...and make sure your superhero gets a cuddle.
And what can feel better than a supportive hug from the son of God?
Patty Morgan-Zombie (left) hugs a supporter of her husband — presidential candidate A. Zombie, not pictured — at a rally stop in the Dallas Arts District August 24, 2012. A. Zombie is endorsed by AMC Networks, home of AMC's popular series The Walking Dead.
It's always good to ask before you hug someone you don't know well. And certainly keep your hands above the waistline. But if it's your spouse, your special buddy, or that guy who showed up from Grindr, then you can relax a little more.
Keep your hands above the waistline, Kate!
Madonna presents CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper with the Vito Russo Award at the 24th Annual GLAAD Media Awards March 16, 2013, at the Marriott Marquis in New York.
...for a lifetime of happy hugs.
This is an official reminder to hug the IT gal or guy at work.
You are hot and sweaty and you just performed beautifully. Leap into your coach's arms.
Gymnast from the Netherlands Epke Zonderland, facing camera, hugs his coach Daniel Knibbeler after performing on the horizontal bar during the artistic gymnastics men's apparatus finals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, August 7, in London.
Barbara Boxer (left) and Dianne Feinstein, California's two U.S. senators, embrace as gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides looks on during a rally November 6, 2006, in Los Angeles.
If you are going for some soapy, slippery hugs, make sure you have a nonskid shower mat, mmm-kay?
Barbara Stanwyck and Joan Crawford say to hell with what the gossips say and hug it out for the cameras.
Stepfather and coach Yin Alvarez (right) hugs U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva after he won the bronze medal during the artistic gymnastics men's individual all-around competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics, August 1, in London.
Madonna (right) presents the award for song of the year to Taylor Swift for “Shake It Off” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium, March 29, 2015, in Los Angeles.
Mary Martin and Nancy Reagan, just because.
A basketful of hugs!
Give Dad a long hug.
They're giving them away!
John Phillip Law and Jane Fonda in Barbarella.
It's 2016, guys. Time to get over being uptight about hugging in public.
Read about it here: Your Child Should Never Be Forced to Hug Anyone (Yes, Including a Relative) at EverydayFeminism.com.
Possibly the most splendid hugs of all.
Yes, a baseball player and a soccer star can hug it out. Peace.
Hug to celebrate that you made it this long.
Big and hairy make the best bear hugs in the world.