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International Kissing Day

There are many types of kisses—they are practiced on different occasions and have various meanings. There are passionate kisses between lovers, a person's first kiss, the kiss between a child and their parents or grandparents, and a kiss on the cheek or hand as a greeting or to say goodbye. There are even kissing competitions—as of 2018 the longest kiss has lasted over 58 hours. Kisses are an important part of social bonding and are celebrated today. The day appears to have started in the United Kingdom in 2006, and is now observed worldwide. While its main focus is on celebrating kisses between lovers, all types of kisses may be celebrated.

"Kiss" comes from the Old English word "cyssan," which itself came from the proto-Germanic word "kussijanan" or "kuss." This word probably comes from the sound that kissing can make. The first written mention of kissing is in the four Vedic Sanskrit texts, which may date to as early as 1500 BCE.

The orbicularis oris, known as the "kissing muscle," allows lips to pucker. A pucker kiss only takes this and one other muscle, while a French kiss takes 34. "French kiss" is a slang phrase that came about in the English language in 1923, being so named because French culture was seen as being overly concerned with sex. The kiss is known as a soul kiss or a tongue kiss in France. About two-thirds of people tip their heads to the right when they kiss, and between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria are exchanged.

How to Observe

If you have a partner, start the day by giving them a kiss. There are many types of kisses you could try with them throughout the day. You could greet a friend by giving them a kiss on the cheek or on the back of the hand. You could also kiss your relatives on the day. Events are sometimes organized on the day, both for lovers and for those who are looking for lovers. Do you feel like getting away? Plan a trip to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone. If you don't feel like kissing, or can't find anyone to kiss, you could spend the day eating Hershey's Kisses while listening to Kiss.

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