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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!

International Kissing Day Timeline

1500 BC

First reference to Kissing in historical records

Recorded in the Vedas, which are Sanskrit scriptures that inform Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.[1]

800-900 BC

Kissing is written into Homer’s works

Homer writes about King Priam showing respect by kissing the hand of Achilles and he intercedes on behalf of his son.[2]

326 BC

Kissing moves from India

After the conquest of Alexander the Great, the practice of kissing spreads to the West.[3]


First “open-mouthed” kiss in the movies

This groundbreaking event occurs between Greta Garbo and John Gilbert in the film “ Flesh and the Devil”.[4]


First International Kissing Day

Also called World Kiss Day, this day starts in the United Kingdom and then spreads throughout the rest of the world.[5]

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 FAQs

When is International Kissing Day?

Each year, International Kissing Day is celebrated on July 6. Other related holidays include Kiss a Ginger Day on January 12 and National Kiss and Make Up Day on August 25.[1]

Who started International Kissing Day?

International Kissing Day was started in the United Kingdom. First, in 2005, it was British National Kissing Day, and then it seems to have moved all over the world.[2]

When did the movie The Kissing Booth come out?

This American teen rom-com was released in 2018 and was then followed by two sequels.[3]

What is International Kissing Day?

International Kissing Day is an unofficial, delightful day when the idea is to celebrate the love and passion of friends (or more!) with a kiss. Whether it’s a kiss on the cheek or the lips, it’s a great day to kiss someone who is loved![4]

What is the K-I-S-S-I-N-G rhyme?

Familiar to children in the US and the UK, often with embarrassing consequences, the song goes like this:

“John and Mary (or any two names)

sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G,

first comes love, then come marriage,

then comes baby

in a baby carriage!”[5]

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