THE THIRD year of the annual Hug Day event, during which free hugs are offered to anyone as part of the Without Hate campaign, saw a record-breaking 79,150 hugs. The highest number of hugs was given in Rimavská Sobota, where 80 volunteers participated.

“We are absolutely happy about the numbers,” the event’s coordinator, Jaroslav Dodok, told the TASR newswire, adding, “but they are not the main thing. This day was neither about records, nor about a competition, but rather about a lot of joy and a good mood that we spread around Slovakia.”

Hugs were offered on June 25 by more than 400 volunteers to many people, especially those who need them most, like children in orphanages, firemen, ministry officials, teachers and journalists.

Slovaks in the Czech Republic and even in Baku, Azerbaijan, took the event to an international level by organising Hug Day in those locations as well. People can look forward to next year’s edition, slated for June 25, 2015.