A hug is a form of physical intimacy, that usually involves closing or holding the arms around the neck, back, or waist of another person; if more than two persons are involved, this is referred to as a group hug. A hug, sometimes in association with a kiss, eye contact or other gestures, is a form of nonverbal communication. Depending on culture, context and relationship, a hug can indicate familiarity, love, affection or friendship. One person may hug another as an indication of support, comfort, and consolation. A hug can be a demonstration of affection and emotional warmth, sometimes arising out of joy or happiness at meeting someone. Sometimes hugs are a romantic exchange.
Unlike some other forms of physical intimacy, when both parties mutually engage in the act, a hug can be practiced publicly and privately without stigma in many countries, religions and cultures, within families, and also across age and gender lines, but is generally an indication that people are familiar with each other. An unexpected hug can be regarded as an invasion of a person's personal space, but if it is reciprocated it is an indication that it is welcome. Also, a person, especially a child, may caress and hug a doll or stuffed animal. Young children will also hug their parents when they feel threatened by an unfamiliar person.
The Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places. The hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness - selfless acts performed just to make others feel better. International Free Hugs Month is celebrated on the first Saturday of July and continues until August first.