International Kissing Day

International Kissing Day - Saturday, July 6, 2024

Relationship Activities Historical International Love Romance Sex

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. 

There are as many types of kiss as there are people to pucker up, and who doesn’t love a good kiss? Whether it’s a quick friendly peck on the cheek between friends, or a long, passionate tongue-lashing between new partners, International Kissing Day celebrates this most enjoyable of activities and the part it plays in cultures throughout the world. If you haven’t shown your partner just how much you enjoy them, maybe International Kissing Day is your chance to remind them with a toe-curling kiss!

History of International Kissing Day

International Kissing Day was established in 2006 to focus on the kissing that takes place between lovers, and to celebrate the place it holds in our society. One of the most surprising things about this holiday is the research that revealed that 5% of people over the age of 45 are locking lips at least 31 times a week! Who would have thought that old fires burn so hot?

Events are organized all over to celebrate International Kissing Day, with events for those who have lovers, and those who are looking for them. Kiss-in’s let you test drive a potential date’s lips before you ever hook up with them for an actual date, and kissing classes help you learn how to become an amazing kisser.

But romantic kissing isn’t the only place that kissing happens in our culture and society. Among high society, it’s not at all unusual to greet with a kiss on each cheek, a tradition that heralds back to the Old World. Young children frequently get kisses from their loving parents, though it’s something that tends to fade as children get older.

Overall, kissing has played an important role in social bonding since time out of mind, and International Kissing Day celebrates them all!

How to celebrate International Kissing Day

Well that’s simple enough isn’t it? Wake up in the morning and kiss your partner good morning, then greet your friends with a quick kiss on the cheek to show them how much you appreciate them. If you’re a bit more reserved, place a chaste kiss on the back of the hand of friends you hold in high regard. There’s a million different ways to deliver a kiss to those you care about, and they don’t all have to be romantic! So on International Kissing Day, pucker up every chance you get! Just remember the breath mints.

What’s the Goal of International Kissing Day?

Giving your partner a  smooch, or your loved ones a quick peck on the cheek, right? Sure, they are great ways to participate in International Kissing Day (not that the over-45 need an excuse!), but it’s not the reason behind the event.

The art of locking lips has values that are easy to miss in a rush to rack up as many kisses as possible. A kiss isn’t only romantic – it’s a sign of affection that reminds people that you care. 40% of people say that their television screen is their main companion, so a kiss is more necessary than ever.

Also, let’s not forget about the health advantages. Mental health is a big deal, but so is physical wellbeing. Weirdly, and wonderfully, kissing can burn up to 6.4 calories per minute. It certainly beats peacocking at the gym!

Last but not least, it transcends cultural norms. Everybody loves a kiss, regardless of the country or customs. Who knows? You may meet a friend for life on international Kissing Day.

The Dos & Don’ts of Kissing

Of course, your technique has to be on point. Nobody is going to make a lasting friendship with too much tongue. Plus, there are boundaries that everybody has to respect. Although it’s an excellent time of year, it’s a potentially awkward one, too.

  • Ask for consent: you can’t walk up to someone and plant a smacker on their lips without asking first. Okay, you love them and they love you, but it’s still polite to make sure they’re happy!
  • Switch up your kissing game: the wife or hubby will get a “different” type of kiss than your Mom or Dad… Swapping saliva with a partner is a piece of cake, but family members and friends are harder. As a rule, a French-style kiss (not that one!) always works. For those who aren’t familiar with the fine art of a Francais greeting, two to four pecks on the cheek is all it takes to spread the love.
  • Try different kisses: a traditional kiss is all you’ve ever needed, until now. When a standard smooch won’t do, it’s important to reach into your bag and tricks and pull out something appropriate. On International Kissing Day, that means moving away from the lips and opting for a ‘forehead kiss’ instead.

Yes, it’s a real thing, and no, it’s not reserved for parents and grandparents!

How Do Countries Celebrate?

International Kissing Day has become such an event that different countries have novel-yet-typical methods when the kissing holiday rolls around. The French, for instance, disregard their usual greeting and blow air kisses instead.

The Greeks and Italians dispense with pleasantries altogether. Men and women straight up kiss on the lips, so don’t be offended if you are accosted in Rome or Athens. It’s cultural! 

However, the Pacific Islanders have the cutest custom – Eskimo kisses. In traditional Inuit style, people rub their noses together while breathing in. Hygiene-wise, it’s no bueno, but romance-wise, it can’t be beaten.

How will you celebrate this year?

International Kissing Day timeline


But did you know that when it snows...

Singer-songwriter Seal released his iconic song, "Kiss From a Rose"


Rock n Roll All Nite

American heavy metal rock band, Kiss, formed in New York City. 


French Kiss

American servicemen stationed in France came across bold French women, coming up with the term "French kiss."


Hershey's Kisses

Hershey's Kiss was first introduced. Up until 1921, each Hershey's Kiss was wrapped and stamped by hand.

International Kissing Day FAQs

Is today National Kissing Day?

National Kissing Day comes around once a year on June 22, but don’t let that stop you from celebrating every day of the year. 

How do people celebrate International Kissing Day?

Celebrate International Kissing Day by giving your friends and family a loving kiss on the cheek. Of course, make sure they’re okay with it first!

Is April 13 an international kiss day?

International Kissing Day happens annually on July 6, but if you want to give kisses on April 13, don’t let us stop you! 

International Kissing Day Activities

  1. Give someone you love a kiss

    Whether it's your significant other, your mom, or your best friend, remind someone how much you love them with a kiss. Just remember: even though you might want to kiss someone, it doesn't mean they want you to be kissed by you—keep it consensual.

  2. Snack on Hershey's Kisses

    Did you know that Hershey's Kisses fit perfectly into your puckered lips? Although no one knows exactly why they're called Hershey's Kisses, legend has it they were named after the sound the chocolate makes when it's dropping onto the conveyer belt. How romantic!

  3. Kiss everyone hello on both cheeks

    In many cultures (particularly French), it is common practice to peck people once on both cheeks as a greeting. Try it on your friends and colleagues. But pecks only, please—no tongue!

Why We Love International Kissing Day

  1. It's a full face workout

    Did you know that French kissing engages all 34 muscles in the face, whereas a simple pucker kiss only involves two? Who needs the gym when a make-out session will get our hearts racing and our muscles working?

  2. Kissing makes us happy and relieves stress

    Kissing serves as a natural relaxer that makes us feel happy and at peace. By stimulating our brain to release feel-good chemicals, kissing makes us feel both calm and excited at the same time.

  3. Kissing crosses language and cultural boundaries

    Kissing is a cross-cultural form of communication that means the same things in every country—regardless of language, ethnicity, or religion. By kissing, you can communicate complex emotions without having to exchange any words with your kissing partner.

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