Mistletoe is a unique Christmas symbol. People use it to bring peace and calmness into the house, as well as fulfill some peculiar traditions. One of the major ones is kissing under this medical herb. Hardly any person knows when and where this tradition appeared, so here is a small guide for you to prepare a kissing place for the Christmas Eve.
Kissing under the Mistletoe
The origins of the traditions date back centuries ago, when ancient Greeks and Romans used mistletoe to cure several diseases starting from menstrual cramps and different types of disorders to poisoning and epilepsy. However, its romantic background started in the 1st century AD, when Celtic druids found out that mistletoe was able to blossom throughout the entire year, so they suggested bringing it to homes, hoping to increase the birth rate.
Apart from a Celtic myth, there is another one worth attention. According to the legend, the major Scandinavian god Odin had a son, Baldur. At some point of his life, he was predicted to die very soon. His mother, the Norse goddess of love Frigg, was terribly scared and went to the forest to ask all plants and animals to swear not to harm Baldur. She talked to all the representatives of flora and fauna but one – unpretentious mistletoe. This rumor quickly spread over the world and when it reached Loki, the most mischievous god in Scandinavian legends, he decided to bring to life Baldur’s destiny. He created an arrow from the mistletoe that was the only thing able to harm Baldur. The arrow missed and Frigg entitled mistletoe the plant of love and bequeathed people to kiss whenever they appear to be under it.
Middle Age Traditions
Time flew and mistletoe as symbol of vitality moved through the Middle Ages. In the 18th century, it began to be associated with New Year and Christmas mood. Despite the legends of how it changed the meaning from a medical herb to a Christmas decoration, the first mentioning about the kissing under the mistletoe was noticed among the poor, soon moving to the middle class. The modern manifestation of the tradition was firstly noticed in the end of 18th century. A men was allowed to make any women give him a kiss if she was caught standing under the plant of love. In case of refusal, the woman was thought to attract bad luck for the entire year. In addition to this sweet tradition, there was another thing. People plucked a berry from the bush of mistletoe above them for each kiss made and did not stop until none of the berries left.