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April 13th is a day dedicated to love: we celebrate World Kissing Day. Let's find out why... 

"Blessed are those who will always kiss beyond the lips, crossing the border of pleasure, to feed on dreams."

Alda Merini

April 13th is one of the designated dates to celebrate love. World Kissing Day is a holiday born in Great Britain in 1990, soon spread all over the world with the aim of remembering how important a kiss can be.

This holiday is celebrated on April 13th to pay homage to a particular episode, that happened in Britain in the late 20s of the twentieth century, or the longest kiss in history, a kiss that lasted 46 hours by a Thai couple: Thai Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat.

The two, in fact, participated in a contest and entered the Guinness World Record.

The same sweet occasion is also celebrated on July 6th, to pay homage to another record achieved by the same passionate couple. On this date, the record kiss lasted 58 hours, 35 minutes and 58 seconds. 

The Kiss

World Kissing Day, Venice

World Kissing Day is a reminder that human beings are creatures of feelings, which guide human choices, whatever they may be. 

The Kiss, in fact, is an innate gesture that has held an extraordinarily wide range of meanings since ancient times.

The Latins, for example, used three terms to indicate the act of kissing: 

"osculum" meant the kiss of respect, "savium" indicated the kiss of lipidine, and finally "suavium" referred to the kiss as an act of fidelity offered to the bride-to-be by the man.

In today's collective imagination, the kiss is closely linked to the feeling of love, but in reality, kisses are part of specific rituals and are an expression of feelings of different natures that include not only love but also maternal and filial affection, tenderness, sympathy, loyalty, gratitude, compassion, joy or pain.

There is one, however, that is perhaps considered the richest in emotional and sentimental meaning: the first kiss.

The first kiss is, in fact, an unforgettable moment in life, a real emotional rush combined with the feeling of having "butterflies in the stomach".

5. Kissing helps to live better

World Kissing Day, Colosseum

A brotherly kiss, a passionate kiss, a kiss on the cheek, a French kiss, a molded kiss... But why do we kiss? The lips are not only one of the most erogenous zones of our body, but also one of the most sensitive.

This is why a kiss, whether on the cheek, forehead, or hand, shows us a lot about the person we are kissing. It is a gesture of infinite tenderness. According to science, kissing is also good for your health as it works 35 facial muscles. A fantastic anti-wrinkle exercise. 

It involves 112 postural muscles, increases self-esteem and immune defenses. 

It also reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and increases oxytocin, the love hormone. 

It promotes blood circulation and counteracts skin aging.

It even prolongs life by 5 years. 

Are you still in doubt about how good kissing is?  And how romantic is kissing in an Italian city? 

4. Kisses to be read

World Kissing Day, Paolo e Francesca

Italian history, literature, and cinema are full of kisses.

Many kisses have left their mark on the history of literature, with unforgettable descriptions that become sweeter and more moving with each reading. 

One of the most famous kisses of all time is the one between Paolo and Francesca in Canto V of Dante Alighieri's Inferno of "Divina Commedia":

"When we read the desired smile being kissed by such a lover,

This one, who will never be divided from me, kissed my mouth all trembling".

Malicious and desired is the kiss described by D'Annunzio in the poem "La Boccuccia":

"Come on, give it to me, give it to me. It's like a little rose.

Give it to me a kiss, give it to me, Cannetella!

Give it to me and take a little kiss".

3. The Kiss: Romantic and Poignant

World Kissing Day Italy

The most romantic text describing the kiss is by Catullo, who in "Dammi Mille Baci" (Give me a thousand kisses) makes readers dream:

"Give me a thousand kisses, then another hundred,

then another thousand, then another hundred,

then without stopping another thousand, then a hundred.

Finally, when we have given a thousand,

we shall shuffle the count, lest we know,

or so that no evil can envy us,

discovering the existence of so many kisses".

Perfect to dedicate to your loved ones on World Kissing Day.

Touching and poignant is Neruda's "Kiss in the Wind" for all those who on this day love but cannot kiss, he suggests we send a kiss to the wind that will be felt by those you love: 

"I will send you a kiss with the wind and I know you will feel it,

you will turn around without seeing me but I will be there.

We are made of the same stuff that dreams are made of".

2. Kisses by Oscar

World Kissing Day, La Dolce Vita

The celebration of the kiss passes through social media, works of art, paintings, poems, and also many unforgettable moments broadcast on the big screen. 

When we talk about kisses, we can't help but think of those moments in black and white or color that have sculpted epochs and built strong symbols of love.

Just like the finale of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, by Giuseppe Tornatore, a wonderful, poignant montage of the most beautiful kisses on film, accompanied by Ennio Morricone's magical soundtrack.

Federico Fellini, on the other hand, took us through the streets of the Eternal City to the Trevi Fountain and gave us a barely grazed kiss between Marcello (Marcello Mastroianni) and Sylvia ( Anita Ekberg) in the film "La Dolce Vita" (1960), capable of setting the screen and the soul on fire.

A film that every time we see it again makes us fall in love, making us feel the thrill of an endless kiss.

1. The Kiss: Comedy and Passion

World Kissing Day, Scene from Poli Opposti

Whether intentional, stolen, or exaggerated, kisses in cinema represent some of the strongest moments on the big screen.

Another hilarious kiss can be found in the Italian comedy "Maledetto il giorno che t'ho incontrato" (1992), starring Bernardo (Carlo Verdone), a Roman journalist living in Milan, and Camilla (Margherita Buy), a complex actress.

Love will break out between the two, but not before the woman instructs Bernardo with a simple lesson on how to kiss. 

Because, after all, you have to know how to kiss!

Finally, the passionate kiss between two people who could not be more opposite, between whom you would never expect love to be born, as in "Poli Opposti" in which Stefano Parisi (Luca Argentero) and Claudia Torrini (Sarah Felberbaum) are a couple's therapist, she is a divorce lawyer, but they will soon realize that it is perhaps useless to fight against the laws of physics.

13 April 2022: World Kissing Day

World Kissing Day, Florence

This year, too, April 13th is lit up with the passion to celebrate this simple gesture, so aspired to and praised, which encompasses the expression of goodness and love between loved ones and towards loved ones. 

To the Wasted Kisses, to those wanted, to those dreamed of, to those never given... Happy World Kiss Day!

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