What is International Kissing Day?
No matter which type of kiss you prefer, International Kissing Day on July 6 is the perfect time of year to celebrate this simple but powerful gesture. From French kissing and a formal kiss on the cheek, to a kiss hello and a kiss goodbye — kissing is an age-old practice with significance that extends far beyond just romance.
History of International Kissing Day
If we go back in time, we can thank the Romans for the widespread practice of kissing in Europe. They described kissing in three forms: the osculum (a friendly peck on the cheek), the basium (a loving kiss on the lips), and the savium (the most passionate of kisses on the mouth). In Roman society, when, where, and how you kissed someone was an important indicator of social status.
The term “French kiss” was most likely coined by American and British servicemen in France during World War I who noticed that Gallic women were more open to employing the passionate technique than their American and British counterparts. So even though the French were clearly not the first people to engage in “French kissing”, it seems only right that they were given credit for it due to the amorous enthusiasms of French lovers a century ago.
Interestingly enough, the French actually didn’t have a specific word for the famous mouth on mouth until recently. The verb galocher, defined as “kissing with tongues”, was added to a popular yet unofficial French dictionary, Le Petit Robert, in 2014. Nowadays, French kissing is so popular that a team of Japanese researchers recently invented a French kissing machine, in which couples that are separated are able to connect via straw-like devices that work through a computer.
International Kissing Day itself is not only about French kissing your significant other, but to bring people closer in general. The main idea behind it was that so many people have forgotten the simple pleasures associated with kissing for kissing’s sake, as opposed to kissing as mere social formality. Kissing can be an enjoyable experience in and of itself and is an expression of love and intimacy.