World records for Mistletoe Kisses – whose methodology?

Last year I reported (briefly) that Six Flags Over Georgia, a theme park near Atlanta, Georgia, had just set a new World record for kissing under mistletoe  – with their record officially recognised by Guinness Book of Records.  The record involved 201 couples simultaneously kissing under mistletoe.  Each couple had their own mistletoe spring (provided by the organisers – and the American Phoradendron mistletoe, not the classic Viscum of Europe) and had to kiss, on cue, for at least 10 seconds. Here’s the promo video from last year:

It seemed a suitably novel way to promote and re-invigorate the mistletoe kissing tradition.  Though sponsorship by DenTek, who provided “minty Comfort Clean Floss Picks with fluoride” to ensure “fresh breath for the kiss” made it seem a little less romantic.

This season they’re trying again, but involving several other Six Flags Parks in other states, including Missouri, Texas and California as well as Georgia. The event will be similar, simultaneous kissing under individual sprigs, and will be synchronised over three time zones.  Kissing is due to happen tomorrow, 10th December, at 5.15pm EST.  Details, if you’re interested in more info or want to take part (you’ll need to register first), are here:

But there is a rival – last Saturday, 3rd December, back home in Britain’s Mistletoe Capital, Tenbury Wells, another mistletoe kissing record was attempted. This one, part of the Tenbury Mistletoe Festival celebrations, was completely different to the Six Flags events. Instead of simultaneous kissing under individual sprigs the Tenbury record attempt involved one large ball of mistletoe and a five-hour kiss-athon, requiring new one kiss  every 40 seconds from 11am to 4pm.

How does this record attempt relate to the Six Flags one?  It seems to bear little resemblance in methodology so is it actually comparable? And what was the result last Saturday?

The Guinness Book of Records official summary, for mistletoe records, is fairly minimal. It lists three potential mistletoe records:

  • largest bunch of mistletoe
  • most couples kissing under mistletoe (single venue) and
  • most couples kissing under mistletoe (multiple venues)

Of these three the first and last have no record-holder at all (there’s an opp there for some of those big mistletoe bunches in tall trees around here!) and the second one is, not surprisingly, held by Six Flags Over Georgia in 2015.

So this year’s Six Flags events are probably aimed at setting a new multi-venue record (easy to achieve as there’s no current record holder) and also, I guess, at improving the single venue one too.  But the Guinness description is vague – no mention that it has to be simultaneous or individual sprigs per couple, so the Tenbury Wells attempt, despite a completely different measurement system, must be a valid competitor despite differing systems.

So what happened last Saturday in Tenbury Wells?  How many people kissed under the mistletoe? I didn’t (sorry!) because I couldn’t be there and so have no first hand knowledge. And I have not yet read any feedback. The Tenbury Mistletoe Association’s facebook page reports, at 14.50 on the day, that more people are needed and, at 15.15, that the older generation seem more willing.

But what was the result….?  The Ludlow Advertiser have a report on the Festival on their website here, but are coy about the record attempt result.

Update: just spotted the Shropshire Star’s account of the Tenbury record attempt, which confirms the record was not broken at Tenbury…  but they had fun trying!


More Mistletoe Matters – links to mistletoey things to read, buy or do

Grow-Your-Own Mistletoe – kits and gift cards from the English Mistletoe Shop
A Little Book About Mistletoe – printed and Kindle versions
Mistletoe Matters Consultancy – all about mistletoe in Britain
The Mistletoe Pages – even more about mistletoe
Mistletoe Surveys – seeking your input…
Mistletoe Matters on Facebook
Mistletoe Matters on Twitter