Today is National Hugging Day! Whether you prefer Bear Hugs, Heart-to-Heart Hugs, Cheek Hugs, or Side Hugs, embrace your loved ones today to show your love and affection.
Scientific studies have demonstrated that hugs are incredibly good for us. A hug can lower your blood pressure, trigger the release of healthy hormones (like oxytocin), and relieve stress. Doctors recommend a minimum of 4-6 hugs per day for our emotional and physiological well-being, but more is always better!
National Hug Day first began in 1986, and was started by Reverend Kevin Zaborney in Caro, Michigan. Zaborney believed that Americans in particular live in a society where showing feelings in public is embarrassing, and he wanted to change that by putting hugs in the spotlight one day out of the year (it’s true, studies have shown that French couples are three times as affectionate in public than Americans). He chose January 21 because it fell in between Christmas/New Year’s and Valentine’s Day; it’s also in the dead of winter, a time period where most people’s spirits are low, so seemingly a perfect time. Though it’s not a national holiday, National Hug Day is officially recognized by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The holiday has also since spread to other countries.
The record for most hugs given in one hour by an individual is 1,749. Nick Vujicic achieved this feat at an expo center in Oregon in 2010.
According to AOL, on Wednesday, Jan. 20, the five bright planets will be visible from Earth, and the showing will last about a month.
Four of the five have already been visible in the early morning sky, but Mercury will join the group shortly, completing the five visible planet grouping.
EarthSky reports people living in the mid-to-northern latitudes can see Mercury best about an hour and half before dawn. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s about two hours before sunrise. February 7 is expected to be the best day for viewing our solar system’s closest planet to the sun.
If you’re struggling to find the planets, try locating the Moon first. All five planets will align along the same path that the moon travels through in the sky.
The rare alignment will be the first time the planets have appeared together in the sky in 10 years, but The Conversation reports you won’t have to wait another decade to see it happen again. The next five-planet showing will happen in August.