A while ago a friend suggested to organise a Free Hugs Day in Heidelberg. Over the weeks we got a nice group of 13 people together. The Friday evening before heading down to Heidelberg, we met at my place to create some signs.
Saturday morning we all met at the main train station in Darmstadt and took the regional train to Heidelberg. (a trip of about one hour) Already while walking towards the city center we started giving free hugs to random people we met and who were not afraid to accept this unexpected favour.
Before diving in deeper, let’s cite Wikipedia to explain this concept in a few words:
[…] a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places. […] The hugs are meant to be random acts of kindness – purportedly selfless acts performed by a person for the sole reason of making others feel better.
At first we settled right underneath the Heiliggeist Kirche near the market. Being so lucky to catch on of the very first sunny and warm days this year, our signs were shining in the bright sunlight and the first confused looking people started to ask us why we were actually doing this. After dispersing the suspicion we might be some sort of sect or organisation trying to hook people, most people were amazed by this idea and loved it. Especially mid-aged and elder people agreed that Germany needed more of such events. (I think this is true for any country at any time)
A younger German couple we hugged early during the morning came back, carrying their instruments. After settling right behind us they started jamming on their guitars, creating an amazing atmosphere. As we were giving out our hugs for free, they also played without a hat on the street. (Thanks again unknown musicians, you certainly improved our mood even further!)
Around midday we moved down the road a bit, as the sun had moved away from our previous spot. We kept on hugging random strangers till the sun set behind the beautiful old-town of Heidelberg.
After this long day of hugging, everyone was rather exhausted. After dinner at a Libanese restaurant, we walked through the old town, catching a glimpse at the illuminated old castle. Later we crawled some local bars and got introduces to a “special” local schnapps. At the end of a long day, everyone joined their hosts, surfing some local chouches (thanks again hosts!).