Since 1990, World Kiss Day has been observed on July 6. In honor of the occasion, DW presents the most famous smooches from politics, film - and everyday life. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest kiss took place on July 6, 2007 in London and lasted 31 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds. Pictured here is Gustav Klimt's iconic painting, appropriately titled "The Kiss."
The clothing chain Benetton is known for its provocative ads. For its 2011 "Unhate" campaign, it photoshopped together politicians who don't get along so well in real life. The resulting fictional kiss between Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy (pictured) was less shocking than the Obama-Hu Jintao and Netanjahu-Abbas images, as well as one of the Pope kissing an Egyptian imam.
According to social protocol, a woman should be greeted with a kiss on the hand if she is married or over the age of 30. The former publisher of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, Marion Dönhoff, fulfilled at least one of these criteria when former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt kissed her hand in 1988. Politician Rita Süssmuth (center) is enjoying the moment.
A short time later, Rita Süßmuth became president of the German parliament. Out of gratitude for the hour of remembrance held in the parliament, Poland's Foreign Minister Wladyslaw Bartoszewski gave Süßmuth a heartfelt kiss on the hand. President Roman Herzog, Bundesrat President Johannes Rau und Chancellor Helmut Kohl had front-row seats.
The socialist fraternal kiss was more than a greeting. What started as a spontaneous gesture developed into a symbol of friendship and unity among the socialist leaders. The most famous socialist kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker, pictured here in 1979, was captured as an iconic painting on the Berlin Wall.
Russian painter Dimitri Vrubel was one of more than 100 artists who painted the east side of the Berlin Wall. His interpretation of the famous kiss became the most well-known painting on what would be called the East Side Gallery, which was renovated in 2009 in honor of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
What used to be taboo has become commonplace in many big cities: men kissing in public. But it is far from a frequent sight elsewhere. Homosexuals all over the world continue to demonstrate against discrimination, for the legal recognition of same-sex marriage, and for the right to adopt children. Kisses become symbolic at such protest events.
Fairytales usually include at least one kiss, and the 1981 wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was certainly right out of a fairytale. Except that they didn't live happily ever after. Charles fell in love with someone else and Diana broke under the pressure of playing the perfect princess. In an interview in 1992, she confessed that the wedding was the worst day of her life.
Blowing a kiss may not be the real thing, but it sends the same message: I love you! This mom and son were welcoming home members of the Georgia Army National Guard after deployment in Iraq.
The film "The Kiss," made in 1896 by US director William Heise, lasted all of 47 seconds. It captured the final scene of a Broadway musical, performed by May Irwin and John Rice. The display of affection caused an outcry among the audience. Film had been considered nothing more than a fair attraction at the time, and the moral "scandal" didn't boost its reputation.
Despite limited acceptance at first, on-screen kissing became an important part of the cinema experience. Kisses from "Blueberry Nights" (pictured) have touched thousands of viewers, as did the scene in "Spiderman" where Tobey Maguire gives a passionate kiss while hanging upside down. In any case, a kiss is an essential ingredient for a happy end.
Pucker up! July 6 is World Kiss Day.