Kissing is supposed to be good for teeth with an increased flow of saliva to the mouth, giving the teeth a plaque-dispersing wash. For calorie counters, passionate kissing burns 6.4 calories a minute.
The kiss at the conclusion of a wedding ceremony can be traced back to ancient Roman tradition where a kiss was used to sign the marriage contract. During the Second World War the acronym S.W.A.L.K. became used on letters sent home from the warfront to signify that a sealed envelope had been Sealed With a Loving Kiss. The letter X at the end of a message is also taken to represent a kiss.
Some schoolchildren have also been delighted when their schoolwork has been marked with an X, mistakenly believing that their teacher has loved their work.
Fans of the Eurovision Song Contest may remember ‘Save Your kisses For Me’ sung and performed by Brotherhood of Man. In 1976 the song won the Eurovision Song Contest and became an international hit. It also became the biggest selling number one hit in the UK for 1976. On another musical note, the iconic American rock band KISS can be recognised by their own distinctive logo.
The Kiss of Death is a sign that something or someone is doomed. As well as being the title of many songs, James Bond fans will recall the 1964 Goldfinger theme song sung by Shirley Bassey with the lyrics ‘It’s the kiss of death from Mr. Goldfinger.’ A kiss of betrayal was also given by Judas Iscariot to Jesus, leading to his identification and arrest by Roman soldiers.
An estimated audience of over 72 million people witnessed the Buckingham Palace balcony kiss between Prince William and Kate Middleton after their 2011 Royal Wedding. The first same-sex kiss on primetime British TV took place in 1987 between the characters Barry and Colin in EastEnders. In 2003 Britney Spears and Madonna kissed during a speech at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony.
Humans are not the only animals on the planet who kiss. Squirrels ‘kiss’ as a means of identifying one another, sniffing another squirrel’s neck gland for a familiar scent.
Many breeds of parrots ‘kiss’ one another in the wild out of acceptance, affection, and/or attachment. During the ‘kiss’ one parrot may generously share it nearly-digested food with its partner.
'Billing’ is the technical term for puffin kissing. This happens when two puffins rub their beaks together, usually when the two puffins begin their courting. This can attract a crowd of other puffin spectators around them.
Some species of monkeys ‘kiss’ as part of a greeting, by touching their muzzles together before play or grooming. Chimpanzees may kiss and make up after a fight.
Also, cows will ‘kiss’ one another for hours as a show of their affection.
Kissing Gouramis, also known as kissing fish are a popular aquarium fish which originate from South East Asia. They have been known to live for over 25 years and are so named named because of their ‘kissing’ behaviour.
The science of kissing is called philematology and investigations have found that about two-thirds of people tilt their heads to the right when they kiss. Scientists have also found that lips are 100 times more sensitive than finger tips.
So, time to celebrate this year’s International Kissing Day with that special kiss.