Kissing Day – 28 December or 6 July?

romantic kissA kiss is primarily an expression of love, but also reverence, submission, respect and well wishes. It is the oldest way of communication, body language, overgrown rich symbolism. Kiss in Polish ‘całować’ is semantically associated with whole ‘cały’.  This means not only the unity but also survival pol. ‘ocalić’.

The kiss, which farewells a  knight or a hunter, was kind wishes and blessings  ‘come back untouched ‘cały’. It was exchanged both by men and men and woman and men and had nothing to do with sexuality.

Sex free was also the kiss of respect. Kissing pop’s or bishop ring was the singe of reverence given to God. Kissing the national flag, sword blades, the Constitution belong to the gestures to show reverence to symbols.

In some countries, it was also a gesture of courtesy – like in Poland kissing lady’s hand in greeting and farewell. The custom is getting old fashion, but you can meet it even between young people.

The way of communication by a kiss is as old as humankind. It has been developing its meaning – direct and symbolic – with a culture of each language. Whatever it symbolize,  the fundamental meaning of this gesture is expressing love with a strong sexual character, and that is why it is still celebrated as an international holiday. Why there are two different dates? It really doesn’t matter. Let’s kiss in the end and the middle of the year!

Love triumph

Informacje o Ewa Maslowska

I am a linguist interested in discovering the image of the world hidden behind the words. The linguistic worldview shows the differences between languages. Words and ideas reflect the common memory of each particular society that perceives reality through its historical and cultural experience, habits, beliefs mirrored by the language. Each language contains its view of the world and it is fascinating to discover the differences in the meaning of words and contexts they are used. Apart from doing research, I run a Polish language school for foreigners – Academia Polonica. The results of my investigation in cultural linguistics are implemented in the programs for teaching Polish to foreigners in broad cultural contexts. I believe that a deeper view of Polish culture through history, customs, symbols will help to cross the cultural barriers and improve communication behind diversity. Became a friend of Poland! If you seek more knowledge about the issues given in the posts you can follow my publication on
Ten wpis został opublikowany w kategorii body language, Cultural diversity, intercultural communication, Linguistic diversity, non verbal communication, Polish Tradition i oznaczony tagami , , , , , , , . Dodaj zakładkę do bezpośredniego odnośnika.

53 odpowiedzi na „Kissing Day – 28 December or 6 July?

  1. Steve pisze:

    However, ‚całować, seems to be described as a new meaning, even though it is linked to ‚cały’. Should one not be open to the idea that it is also related to the Latin (and now English) word ‚saliva’?

    • EwaMaslowska pisze:

      Dear Steve,
      Thank your for your comment. You are probably right.
      Kiss „calować’ was derivated directly from ‚cały’ . The very early meaning was ‚uzdrawiać, scalać”, which went to ‚pozdrawiać’.
      The exact equivalent in goc. halis ‚witaj’, oldgerm. hei/ azzen ‚pozdrawiać’
      As you see kissing ‚calowanie’ has always been concidered as very healty.
      Big kiss,

  2. Steve pisze:

    Thanks for your reply, I now feel very healthy and return the kiss.

    Can you recommend/Is there a good Polish dictionary with integrated etymology? We have Bruckner’s but I find it hard going sometimes: my Polish isn’t really good enough for his presentation.

    Incidentally, although I liked the idea of ‚saliva’, I rather suspected the less interesting Latin greeting ‚salve’ would be related or have an influence – one can see the historic and logical connection, but I don’t have any etymology to take that further. There seemed to be an interesting connection to the English verb ‚salve’ ie to heal, that might also be termed ‚make whole’: you can clearly see the links to the ‚całować’ derivation. To ‚salve’ comes from the Sanskrit ‚sarpis’, butter or ghee (clarified butter), changing in time to relate to a healing ointment and then to make healthy generally. However, this seems to be the reverse of the Polish evolution, from ‚whole’ to a greeting, so seems unlikely, but who knows? You can see why I want more information on Polish etymology to match my English dictionary.

    • EwaMaslowska pisze:

      Dear Steve,
      The Bruckners Ditionary is an old one. A very good one is by Franciszek Slawski, but it has not been compleded as the author died before hand.
      However it continue till the O, so for many words you could find the explanation with the comparative data from other Indoeuropean languages.
      the connection with „salve” seems very clear, as a kiss has the meaning of greeting and healing. It means kissing must be very healthy.
      The most important wish we express with all the occasion is health. So for the New Year I wish you a good health, happiness and prosperity
      (in Polish „zdrowia, szczęscia pomyslnosci”

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