This Christmas Borough Market is inviting shoppers to pucker up in a bid to generate enough energy to switch on its Christmas lights - and at the same time set a world record.
To mark its 1,000th Christmas in Southwark, Borough Market is attempting 1,000 simultaneous kisses under a 300 sq ft ceiling of individually tied bunches of mistletoe – one for every person taking part.
The historic market has partnered with top physics experts at Royal Holloway, University of London to investigate the true 'power' of love and to help set up the electrifying record attempt.
Physicist David Farmer from Royal Holloway said: "We worked out that an average kiss on the cheek burns two calories per minute, which converts into approximately 150 watts– enough to power about three old light bulbs. Christmas LED lights only use about 7 watts so we found that the total amount of energy generated by 1,000 one-second kisses could theoretically power Borough's Christmas display. Harnessing this energy is hard but you can still use a kiss to turn the lights on! After lots of calculations we're excited to bring physics to life in a fun way and show that it's more than just facts in a textbook."
Individuals will act as a circuit and will switch on the lights as they 'connect' by sharing their special Christmas kiss. In line with traditional mistletoe kissing etiquette, kisses need to be on the cheek so mums, dads, kids and friends are all being invited to set the record which has, as yet, never been attempted.
Donald Hyslop, Borough Market chair of trustees, said: "A market has always been a central meeting place within the community, and a place that people connect, and share food and drink. Connecting people is very much part of Borough and runs through everything we do so it made perfect sense to carry the theme through to our Christmas light switch on!"
Those who are interested in taking part are being asked to gather at 12.30pm on Tuesday 16 December in the New Market Hall, looking festive.
The event is free to attend and Market traders will be creating special Christmas kiss themed produce on the day - from cookies to bunches of mistletoe, plus all willing 'smoochers' will enjoy free mince pies.
Visitors will be entertained with a medley of Christmas carols sung by the Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London.
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