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Ready for a kiss? Or several? You’d better be, because Kiss your Mate Day is right around the corner!
The origin of this celebratory day is unknown. But its meaning is perfectly clear. For every April 28th, you are called to shower your mate with kisses. By mate, the person who is meant is, of course, your romantic partner —your soul mate, if you’re lucky to have found yours.
In which way you kiss him or her on Kiss your Mate Day is up to you. After all, there are countless possibilities:
The origin of the act of kissing itself is probably from the ancient practice of feeding a child from mouth to mouth. The food chewed by the mother was passed on to the child in this fashion way before the advent of spoons. This method of feeding can still be observed today in the animal kingdom and in some aboriginal tribes.
Nowadays, the first and most likely association to the word kiss is a lip kiss. It is quite a simple act, but there are so many varieties you can try out, such as more or less pressure, duration, etc. This kiss can occasionally turn into a so-called French kiss, if you enjoy adding some tongue — how much is a matter of taste.
So, as always, the rule is: try out what you and your partner like. Even a tender biting and nibbling can be considered a kind of kiss. In combination with the lips, this slightly painful kiss can have a particularly arousing effect.
Over a certain distance you can also give your partner an air kiss. To do this, kiss the palm of your hand, hold it upwards and blow this “kiss” towards your partner.
A rather playful way of kissing is the butterfly kiss. You might know it from kindergarten: you have to get your eyelashes very close to the other person and bat them quickly against their cheek or eyelashes. It’ll feel like a butterfly fluttering its wings — hence the name.
The Skimo kiss is also performed without the lips. Here kissers rub their noses against each other side to side. For the Inuit, this is seen as a regular greeting, just like a kiss on the cheek for us, so it has no erotic connotation. It is believed to have been introduced because people needed to cover their whole faces to protect them from the cold, leaving only the nose and the eyes exposed.
The Maori, from New Zealand, on the other hand, call this type of greeting hongi. It seems to have originated from “sniffing” the animals and is a true tradition: you extend your right hand for a handshake, lean your head forward till it touches the other person’s forehead and then gently press your nose against theirs. A variation of this is to put your left hand on their right shoulder and then gently press your nose against them once or twice.
Another welcome kiss, although a bit old-fashioned, is the hand kiss. Here, the lips touch the back of the other person’s hand. This kiss can be given out of respect, admiration, submission or love.
“You may kiss the bride now” precedes the custom where the newlyweds kiss each other. The wedding kiss dates back to the time when contracts were sealed with a kiss. From this rather unromantic viewpoint, marriage was simply a contract.
Not too long after (or even before) the wedding kiss it’s time for the angel kiss. It is reserved for very close people and is actually a very tender kiss to the eyelids or temples. Whether the angel is your partner or your child doesn’t matter, as this kiss can be meant both a romantic and platonic way.
Related article: THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES
The last kiss on this list is the kiss under the mistletoe. Even though it is mostly a lip kiss, there’s a little more to it because the Romans considered the mistletoe to be a symbol of peace, love and understanding. Hanging it up to protect the house was part of Saturnalia. This symbol continued to develop especially in the USA and England. Tradition says that a man may kiss any woman standing under it. Furthermore, any woman who refuses to kiss this woman should be pursued by misfortune. A treacherous custom, then. But in Germany they say that those who kiss under the mistletoe will be blessed with long-lasting love or are even destined to marry each other. It could hardly be more romantic!
Kiss your Mate Day is a wonderful occasion to shower your partner with kisses. But don’t limit yourself to kiss only one day a year! After all, up to 34 facial muscles move while kissing, which is quite sporty for such a pleasant thing. It also strengthens the immune system. So no matter if sensual, playful or affectionate: keep each other healthy by kissing!