National Kissing Day, on June 22, is all about showing your love and improving your health. That’s right, kissing is actually good for you — #wellness. Kissing relieves stress, burns calories, and benefits your immunity. With so many perks, we can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to celebrate, so pucker up!
History of National Kissing Day
Today, kissing is a form of communication. We use it to show love, or in some cultures, as a greeting. The running theory on the evolution of the kiss is based on our natural instinct to share food — similar to how many mammals feed their young.
Since then, historians believe the earliest references to kissing traces back to India, with four major texts in the Vedic Sanskrit literature referencing the supposed earliest forms of kissing. Dating from 1500 B.C., these texts describe ‘kissing’ as the act of rubbing and pressing noses together.
Fast forward to 326 B.C. and kissing became mainstream thanks to the army of Alexander the Great. After the death of Alexander, his army spread out — as did the act of kissing.
The kiss went mainstream thanks to the Romans, and as the saying goes, “do as the Romans do.” We’ll ignore the part about “when in Rome,” since they took their kissing knowledge and made it popular around the world.
Kissing was used to show friendship back then, and only if the kiss was “French” did it show passion. Ancient Roman culture went so far as to create laws around the act, stating that if a virgin was kissed passionately in public, she could demand full marriage rights — the Romans didn’t mess around.
Fast forward to today and you can see couples smooching everywhere, without all the scandal, hence why we have a whole day to celebrate!
National Kissing Day timeline
The First On-Screen Kiss
“The Kiss,” a silent film, is shown for the first time with May Irwin and John Rice locking lips.
Catholic Church Outlaws Kissing
Pope Clement V forbids the “holy kiss” in fear that it would lead to other “unholy” acts.
- 326 B.C
The Expansion of Kissing
After the demise of Alexander the Great’s army, they take their kissing knowledge from India and begin locking lips all over the world.
- 1500 B.C
The Start of Kissing
Four major texts in Vedic Sanskrit suggest kissing as the custom of rubbing noses.
National Kissing Day FAQs
What’s the difference between National Kissing Day and International Kissing Day?
National Kissing Day is celebrated on June 22 and International Kissing Day is celebrated on July 6. Same idea, but different days. Two days to celebrate means two times the fun!
Is National Kissing Day a real holiday?
National Kissing Day is celebrated across the country and even internationally on another day. While you won’t get the day off work, you could always use some of that pocketed PTO to celebrate and make the most of the day.
What if I have no one to kiss?
There’s always someone to kiss! A family member, a pet, a beloved stuffed animal from your childhood, or even the mirror. A kiss doesn’t need to be passionate to count, you’ll still get those ‘happy’ hormones, even just watching others kiss in a romantic movie.
National Kissing Day Activities
While you may normally go in for the handshake or the high-five, try something new inspired by the Europeans. Opt to kiss those you meet today with a kiss on both cheeks. Surely they’ll think you’re very fancy, but we might recommend not trying this on your boss.
Try out new kissing methods
They say practice makes perfect, don’t they? You’ve got the kissing thing down by now, but who says you can’t have a little fun with it? Mix up your daily peck with a French kiss, butterfly kiss or a hand kiss with a curtsey.
Watch a Rom-Com
If you’d rather not partake in the kissing festivities yourself, there’s no harm in settling in and watching a romantic movie solo or with friends. Maybe even try to track down “The Kiss” and see where it all began!
5 Facts About Lips That Will Blow Your Mind
Lips are more sensitive than your fingertips
With millions of nerve endings on your lips, they are very sensitive to touch and to external effects like the weather.
Lips are pink because of blood vessels
Lips have three to six layers, compared to the 16 layers on other areas of your skin, meaning the blood vessels are more apparent and change the color of the skin.
In some cultures, women cover their lips
The lips are seen as sexual organs in various cultures.
Lips lose plumpness as you age
As you age, collagen production decreases, meaning so does your lip fullness.
It takes muscle to kiss
In order to pucker up, you need to contract your orbicularis oris, a complex of four muscles.
Why We Love National Kissing Day
Many cultures approach kissing differently
In Italy, people kiss to say hello, the French kiss for passion, in Latin America, it’s normal to greet someone you just met with a kiss, and in Africa, people often kiss the ground on which their chief walked. While kissing is common around the world, the actual practice varies.
Kissing can be healthy
If you’re into wellness trends, add kissing to the list of things to consider. Some perks of kissing include: boosting your “happy” hormones, reducing stress and anxiety, upgrading your immune system, reducing allergic responses, preventing cavities by increasing saliva production, and even burns calories. We don’t think you need any more reasons to participate, right?
Kissing makes us feel loved
Whether it’s a kiss on the forehead, a peck on the cheek, or a passionate kiss, you’re sure to feel special when your grandma, your toddler or your bae lays one on you. While affection may not be everyone’s ‘love language,’ it still does wonders to make us feel loved and appreciated.