Before my card-carrying status as an official romantic gets revoked, I hereby pledge to redeem myself this Saturday. But I'm not donning a habit and I ain't kissing no holy man ...
La Fête du Baiser is a well-known kissing festival, celebrated the Saturday after St. Valentine's Day, in Roquemaure, France. Begun in 1989, it commemorates not only Saint Valentine, who locals claim as a former resident, but the arrival of his mortal remains in 1868 to Roquemaure's collegiate church reliquary.
The relics were purchased in Rome, in hopes of curing the town's diseased vine stocks; within four years they were healed. Today, Roquemaure is home to a winery (Cellar St. Valentine) which produces wines named after the saint.
The festival was started by a local priest, Father Rene Durieu. Men and women around the village dress as priests and nuns, kissing each other, as well as travellers. Special foods and wines are produced especially for the festival.