Table of contents:
- What is the "rite of kissing" and how did Nicholas I kiss ordinary men?
- Male kiss as forgiveness and as goodbye
- How a kiss could replace the royal signature
- For happiness and hope and why the newlyweds kissed their father-in-law on the shoulder
A kiss has always meant recognition, an expression of friendliness, love. In Russia, even men kissed. At the same time, people did not feel any embarrassment. The kiss had a special meaning. It was an ancient tradition going back centuries.
Read in the material what male kisses were like in Russia, why Nicholas I kissed ordinary men heartily, and the newlyweds at the wedding imprinted a kiss on the shoulder of his father-in-law.
What is the "rite of kissing" and how did Nicholas I kiss ordinary men?
In old Russia, a kiss was of great importance. In many life situations, in joyful, sad, there was a kiss as a necessary element. This word comes from the ancient root "cel". This means that when kissing, they wanted the person to be whole. Whole means healthy, but not only that. In the old days, the expression to be whole meant not only a wish for health, it was a wider spectrum, in all positive senses. The kiss was a special seal, with its help people sought to consolidate the integrity of the body. After the introduction of Christianity, the emphasis was shifted from the body to the soul. As an example - holy kissing, which took place during Easter and symbolized brotherhood and love, regardless of what social origin and position a person has. Three kisses within 40 days after this holiday between the first people they meet on the street, regardless of age, position, gender, wealth, origin - it was a common occurrence.
The rite of kissing during the feast of the Resurrection of Christ in Russia has been known since the 12th century. A description of the ceremony can be found in the Monastic Rite. During the service, those present at first pinned themselves to the Gospel, then they kissed the abbot, and then they kissed each other. At the court of many Russian rulers there was a tradition of kissing ordinary men. True, until the 1830s, monarchs distributed kisses only to those who were in the inner circle. But Nicholas I began to congratulate ordinary peasants on Easter Day. For example, during Easter 1840, the tsar performed the rite of christianity not only with the military and his retinue, but also with the usual services and Cossack guards.
An interesting fact: in 1896, almost 500 people present in the Malachite Chamber received an Easter egg from Nicholas II, congratulations and a threefold kiss. At the same time, the protesters were warned in advance that their beards and mustache should not be cut short. The emperor did not really want to prick on short hairs. At the same time, contemporaries noted that the cheek of Nicholas II was still swollen. A threefold kiss with a man personified the inviolability of Orthodoxy, Autocracy and the People.
Male kiss as forgiveness and as goodbye
Not only did men kiss during Easter. You can remember Forgiveness Sunday - the tradition of kissing on this day has been preserved to this day. Should have asked for forgiveness and kiss. In addition to forgiveness, the kiss symbolized goodbye during Lent, which was the personification of "temporary death."
There is another kiss with a similar meaning, that is, a farewell kiss - when the warriors kissed before the battle. After the commander gave a speech that was supposed to inspire the soldiers, raise their morale, people raised their weapons and at the same time hugged and kissed. In this case, both hugs and kisses symbolized brotherly love, meant the hope that in the future there would be a meeting again. Yes, people were not sure that they would meet again. After all, everyone could fall in battle with the enemy. To increase self-confidence, in the successful outcome of the battle, to share energy with their "battle brother", they put their whole soul into the kiss.
How a kiss could replace the royal signature
It is interesting that the power of the royal kiss was so great that it could replace the royal signature. This concerned the reception of foreign ambassadors. At the first visit, they had to present the tsar with gifts and letters, and explain why they came. During the second, there was a discussion of complex issues, letters. The third visit (called vacation) took place only if agreements were reached.
If the contract was concluded, then the so-called kissing ceremony of the cross began. At the same time, the kiss completely replaced the royal signature, since the sovereigns were not allowed to sign documents - this was done by the Duma clerks. They certified the papers with signatures, and the sovereign used the kiss of the cross. How it happened: the representative of the church took the contract and put it under the Gospel, at the same time I read the oath. The tsar should have repeated it, kiss the cross and then transfer the document to foreign ambassadors. By the way, violation of this rite in Russia was equated with a mortal sin.
For happiness and hope and why the newlyweds kissed their father-in-law on the shoulder
Yes, in Russia they often kissed. During the holidays, funerals, each occasion had its own kissing. The wedding was distinguished by a large number of kisses. It is clear that the newlyweds kissed each other, but not only them. For example, in some areas, the newly-made wife and mother-in-law had to kiss each other in the area of the body where the heart is located. This was done so that in the future everyone in the family would live in love and joy. The same purpose had a kind of male kiss, namely, when the young husband kissed his father-in-law on the shoulder. During the sad event - at the funeral, people kissed, regardless of the floor. At the same time, the departed into another world was seen off, kissing on the lips. Thus, those who remained on earth tried to block the way back to the world of the living for the deceased and convey their recognition and love to him. They also kissed at the commemoration, but here the meaning was already different. With a kiss, people seemed to be hoping that the departed would be transferred to the Kingdom of Heaven and would be happy there, like those who remained on Earth.