In North America, we love kissing. Why wouldn’t we? It burns calories; has been shown to help you live longer; and helps people find spouse potentials. Today is International Kissing Day, where research has found that the average person spends about 20,160 minutes of his or her life kissing, so here’s how we do it around the world, courtesy of MentalFloss.com:
1. ESKIMO KISSES
“There’s more to what is known as ‘Eskimo kissing’ than meets the eye—or nose, in this case. In addition to the rubbing together of noses (a way to show affection in Arctic temperatures without exposing one’s mouth to the harsh elements, some say), the practice common among the Inuit tribes of Alaska and Canada also involves inhaling the scent of the other person’s face. Similar customs can be found in Maori tribes in New Zealand and around the Pacific.”
2. FRENCH KISSING
“Fans of enthusiastic make-out sessions have the French to thank for their passionate pastime. Tongue kissing is thought to have been brought back to the U.S. following World War I when returning soldiers greeted their girlfriends and wives with kisses like the ones they’d seen overseas between the less prudish Europeans. Despite France getting credit for the slobbery style, the French word for kissing with tongue, galocher, wasn’t officially added to their dictionaries until 2014.”
3. KISSING ON THE CHEEKS
Depending on the region, a typical kiss on the cheek can come in sets of one, two, or three. In Switzerland, the Netherlands, Slovenia and elsewhere, a casual greeting involves three pecks on alternating cheeks (right, left, right). In Italy and France, friendly hellos involve only two kisses, one on each cheek. In some middle eastern countries, cheek kisses are limited to people of the same gender as men and women kissing in public is considered inappropriate.
Click here to read more about kissing at midnight, kissing under the mistletoe, kissing someone’s hand and more.