Nothing like the first kiss, the most anticipated act when two people fall in love. It is beautiful and it takes your breath away, LITERALLY. But have you ever thought about why people kiss? It could be a greeting or a sign of affection, but we all kiss.
Origin of the kiss
The strangest theory on the history of the kiss that I have heard finds its roots in the age of the caveman. It is thought that in primitive times that a mother pre-chewed the food for her baby and transferred it ‘in a kiss’. Although this could never be proved, it would explain why the kiss is a sign of affection, between mother and child and later, adults.
Another theory that I found was that the kiss was reflected in the Ziller Valley of Central Europe, where the exchange of pre-chewed tobacco between a male and a female was common. The young man would let a tip of the piece of tobacco, or spruce resin rest between his closed teeth and invite the girl to grasp it with her teeth — which of course obliged her to press her mouth firmly on that of the young man — and pull it out. If a girl accepted the wad of pre-chewed tobacco, it meant she returned the boy’s love.
The third theory that I found was from a religious or sacred origin. There have been examples from around the world as early as 2000 BC, that show that people could have brought their faces together to symbolize spiritual union. Even in the Indian culture, it was believed that the exhaled breath was part of the soul, and two people bringing their mouths together showed the joining of their souls. (Another variation on this believed that kissing evolved from the smelling of a companion’s face as an act of greeting. )
Kiss through history
Even without fully knowing where the kiss came from, it is well known that the kiss has been with us for a long time. In the sixth century in France, dancing was one way to display affection, but every dance was ended with a kiss.
Apparently, Russia was the first to incorporate kissing into the marriage ceremony, where a promise was sealed with a kiss.
The Romans kissed to greet each other. One Roman emperor showed a persons’ importance, by what part of his body they were allowed to kiss, from the cheek to the foot.
In the 16th century England, the clove-studded apple originated. An apple was prepared by piercing it with as many cloves as the fruit could hold and then a maid then carried the apple through the fair till she spied a lad she felt was worthy of her kiss. She would offer him the apple, and once he’d selected and chewed one of the cloves, they would share a kiss. After that, the apple passed into the man’s possession, and he would venture off in search of another lass to continue the game with.
At one stage it was even thought that people found kissing pleasurable because when the two lips met during kissing, an electric current was generated.
A kiss is a kiss
Nowadays, kisses range from small pecks on the cheeks as a greeting, to the use of the lips and tongue as a sign of passion. When two people embrace and kiss, it causes hormones to be released into the bloodstream, inducing a sense of euphoria that you feed in the sweetness of your lover’s mouth.
It’s a kiss that brings every fiber of your being alive, turns your stomach over, sends Goosebumps up your spine. It’s a kiss that forgives and smiles at your mistakes. Ingrid Bergman puts it together in that “a kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous”.