Page last updated at 12:03 GMT, Monday, 16 February 2009

Mexicans seal new kissing record

Mexican couple kissing during record attempt
Almost 40,000 Mexicans embraced to set a new record

Mexico claimed a world kissing record on Valentine's Day as nearly 40,000 people in the capital locked lips.

The record for simultaneous kissing, previously held by Britain, was broken by 39,987 participants in Mexico City.

A Guinness World Records official confirmed that while not all of the 42,000 onlookers took part, Mexico had done enough to earn the title.

The British record had been 32,648 people. An attempt to defend the record in London's Trafalgar Square failed.

We love demonstrating our love in front of everyone and in front of our family
Lucia Gutierrez
Record attempt participant

Mexico City's tourism department organised the event to show that "warmth and love are at the core of this capital", as the country tackles drug and crime-related violence that claimed more than 5,000 lives last year.

The kiss "sends a message to the whole world about Mexico's respect for all kinds of freedoms," tourism official Alejandro Rojas Diaz said.

Cupid wings


Almost 40,000 Mexicans embraced to set a new record

The record-breaking attempt was held in the city's Zocalo main square.

It was delayed for several hours as organisers waited for people to gather.

The participants - which included city workers in cupid wings offering hugs and teenage boys carrying signs offering kissing services - were told to embrace and hold one another in a lip lock for 10 seconds.

"We love demonstrating our love in front of everyone and in front of our family," said Lucia Gutierrez, 38, who spent the afternoon rehearsing with Vicente Romero, 34, her boyfriend of 10 months.

Guinness official Carlos Martinez told them: "There are 42,225 people on site, but unfortunately you did not all participate in the record.

"The number of participants is 39,987 and the new record for the number of people kissing simultaneously goes to Mexico."

Attempts at kissing records have long proved popular across the globe, with the Philippines, Hungary, France, Italy, the UK, Chile and Mexico all staging attempts at related records in recent years.

The town of Weston-super-Mare, in Somerset, England, had held the simultaneous kissing record since 2007.

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