Hugging is a form of affection expressed among two or more people by wrapping their arms around one another and holding each other closely for a short period of time, lasting anywhere from a few milliseconds to a couple of minutes, depending on the context. Similar to a kiss, a hug is a form of nonverbal communication that can indicate familiarity, love, friendship, sympathy, affection, comfort, and so on. The cultural context as well as the nature of the relationship between those hugging will determine the nuance of the hug.
A romantic hug may linger and last longer than a platonic hug. Other signs a hug may be romantic are additional touching such as rubbing and pressing faces against the other’s shoulder. In romantic hugs the embrace may be around the face and neck for the taller person and around the waist and lower back for the shorter person, rather than the upper back, shoulders, and arms.
While it may appear that boxers are hugging during a match, but this is actually known as clinching; one person’s arm is over their opponent’s, and the forehead is on the opponent’s shoulder and being held tight while leaning as much weight on them as possible. Clinching is done to break up an opponent’s rhythm, to take a break when hurting, or to rest when waiting for the bell to win.
National hug day is January 21st.