Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? It is something that has been part of Christmas tradition for as long as we can all remember. It can be a fun thing to do at an office work party to break the ice, and it can even be a clever way to orchestrate the first kiss with that person who you have had a crush on forever. But have you ever taken a second to consider why we actually do it? I will unravel the history and mystery around one of the cutest Christmas traditions. Here's the answer to why do we kiss under the mistletoe?
Table of contents:
- romantic plant
- associated with churches
- 18th century christmas tradition
- bad luck
- norse mythology
1 Romantic Plant
Mistletoe has long been regarded as a plant that boasts romantic properties. This symbolism goes as far back as the first century and the culture of the Celtic Druids. They saw it as a symbol of love because of its ability to blossom during even the coldest of freezing winters. It was also seen to be a plant that, because of its poisonous and parasitic nature, would ward off evil spirits and it would, therefore, be hung on houses to frighten them away. That's one answer for why do we kiss under the mistletoe?
2 Associated with Churches
Mistletoe used to be hung in early English churches and in York Minster, they even used to hold an annual Mistletoe Service. The name mistletoe comes from two words from Anglo Saxon English: 'Mistel' (meaning dung) and 'tan' (meaning stick)! So, you could interpret Mistletoe as being 'poo on a stick'!!! Not exactly romantic is it?
3 18th Century Christmas Tradition
The practice of kissing under the mistletoe began in England. Originally the custom dictated that before a person could be kissed, a berry was plucked from the sprig of mistletoe and once the berries had all been plucked, there could be no more kissing! By the 18th century, mistletoe had become a widely incorporated tradition for Christmastime. Men would use it to be cheeky and try to steal a kiss from a woman who they had taken a liking to.
4 Bad Luck
To refuse a kiss when caught under the mistletoe was seen to be an extremely unlucky thing to do, with bad luck being projected for you in the New Year if you opted out of a seasonal smooch.
5 Norse Mythology
Mistletoe also has a place in Norse mythology. The legend goes that when Odin’s son Baldur was going to die, his mother, Frigg, went to the animals and plants of nature to secure an oath that he would live. Frigg apparently neglected to include mistletoe in this oath, and as a result, the scheming god Loki fashioned an arrow out of the plant and used it to kill Baldur who had otherwise been made invincible.
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