Nothing could make happier than when people start hugging each other on the camino.
When I see that people walk in small groups, I give them a hug and then I ask them to give hugs to each other as well. Usually, it works very well: you can see the smiles on their faces!
I noticed that free hugs only work when I am walking and when I come across pilgrims. If I stand along the Camino, holding my sign, people think that I am selling something and usually ignore me!
Early-morning pilgrims have no time to receive hugs. When pilgrims relax in a bar or in an albergue, it is also much more difficult to give them a hug.
My next challenge is to organize "free hug parties" in albergues. But, for that, I should arrive earlier...