I have been reading the Shahnameh, and there's a scene where a demon kisses a character's shoulders, which causes "two black snakes [to grow from the character's] shoulders."
"I have one request to ask of the victorious king, even though I am quite unworthy of it, and this is that he will command me to kiss his shoulders, and rub my eyes and face there." When Zahhak heard his words he had no notion of what the man was plotting and said, "I grant your request, and may your name be honored for it." Then he said that the cook should kiss his shoulders, as if he were his bosom friend. The demon kissed the king's shoulders, and disappeared forthwith.
(Firdawsī. Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings. Trans. Dick Davis. New York: Penguin, 2007. Print. )
It seems like has some sort of social meaning (like a handshake or a hug), as it is implied that the gesture is reserved for "bosom friends." Could anyone elaborate on this?