Kissing someone’s hand is never necessary, though it can show respect and affection.
Kisses are usually used to greet older people such as family, grandparents, friends or religious leaders. Furthermore, this gesture serves to show appreciation to those important to the kisser.
How to kiss someone’s hand
Kissing a lady’s hand is an age-old sign of respect and affection that shows one’s esteem for her, often initiated either by close friends or lovers and sometimes initiated by either party. Kissing hands may also serve as a form of greeting someone, saying goodbye, showing respect for elders or religious figures and showing your devotion.
Before kissing anyone’s hand, it is essential to understand its meaning. Though it may seem unusual in America, this gesture remains common across much of the world and Homer even mentions it in his Iliad! Kissing hands was once widely practiced custom both in Europe and elsewhere around the globe.
The kissing gesture
Kissing someone’s hand might seem old-fashioned, but it can be an ideal way to express love and affection while showing respect and admiration. However, certain societal rules must be observed when kissing someone’s hand.
Kisses may either begin by offering their hand or being initiated from within; religious leaders and elders who are being honored tend to be kissed on both hands as an act of respect and honor.
Kissing your hand can be seen as a signal from a romantic partner that they care for you and want to protect you, conveying their affection and showing that he will always be there for you, reminding you how special and unique you are, as well as showing their undying commitment.
The gesture’s meaning
Kisses come with their own distinct meaning. From neck kisses and cheek kisses to hand kisses and hand slaps, each form of contact carries with it its own specific interpretation. Some kisses may be easy to read while others might contain more hidden messages behind them.
If a guy kisses your hand, this could mean that he admires you and wants to show his respect. Additionally, it could signal flirtation or the possibility of deeper relationship between themselves.
Hand kisses also serve to signify allegiance and loyalty, especially within some Orthodox churches where devotees kiss the hand of the priest as part of worship service, or by Sephardic Jews upon meeting a Rabbi. Movie and TV series frequently use this gesture to signify allegiance or allotment to powerful figures like Dons, priests or powerful characters like Don Draco in movies and shows; it may even signal that someone has been promoted!
The right way to kiss someone’s hand
Hand kisses may seem archaic, but they still show respect and admiration in certain contexts. For instance, at places such as Vienna State Opera it would be perfectly acceptable for someone to bow and kiss your hand as part of an introduction ceremony.
Kissing religious leaders’ hands or those of elderly people (as well as family members), even briefly is acceptable; just make sure not to make the kiss last more than two or three seconds.
Don’t go around randomly kissing any woman’s hands; only when she offers you hers should you kiss. Just use gentle pressure, and ensure your lips are dry before beginning; otherwise you could risk crushing her hand completely and making matters even worse for all involved.