“The ritual —considered old-fashioned nowadays by just about everyone under the age of 60— was traditionally a ceremonial, sacred gesture; its history can be traced to ancient Greece and Rome. In the Middle Ages, a vassal paid homage to his lord by kissing his hand. By the 19th century, hand kissing had been reinvented to convey a man’s gallantry and politesse toward a woman. Those men who still practice it today know the rules: never kiss a gloved hand or the hand of a young girl; kiss the hand only of a married woman, and do so only indoors.”
Very interesting article.