No matter the size of your family, you have cousins. They may not be first removed cousins (children of your parents’ siblings), but go on up your family tree and those branches go out! July 24th is Cousin’s Day – a day to celebrate and show appreciation for your favorite child of your mother or father’s brother or sister. July 24th also happens to be National Tequila Day, and if you and your cousin are over 21, a margarita is a great way to celebrate. (You are welcome, cousins of the world.)
In many cultures they go beyond tequila to show cousin love – some even going as far as marrying each other. Alan Bittles, a genetics researcher, estimates “20% of marriages worldwide are between relatives who are first cousins.” His studies show that in the United States, one marriage in 1,000 is between first cousins.
Just last season on Downton Abbey we were all swept away by the love story of Lady Mary and Matthew. One of the reasons we all cheered on the romance was because it secured the future of Downton, as Matthew was a distant cousin of Mary and would keep the home in the family.
Throughout history many famous people have kept it in the family and married their cousin. John Green, brilliant author and contributor to the fantastically geeky Mental Floss, put together a video explaining not only what cousins are, but also compiled a massive list of historical first cousins who married each other. Brace yourself, he’s a fast talker!
15 Famous Kissing Cousins
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