Here’s Why People Kiss Under the Mistletoe at Christmastime

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William Small. While historians are uncertain about why kissing under the mistletoe started, there is a general consensus regarding when and where the custom began, and how it became popular during Christmastime. The origins of kissing under the mistletoe, a plant that often bears white berries, are often traced to a tale in Norse mythology about the god Baldur. The scheming Loki, upon learning this, makes a spear out of mistletoe — the spear that would eventually kill Baldur. But the connection between that story and the tradition is unclear, and may not even exist at all. Historian Mark Forsyth says this is not actually the way the story ends, however. Although Forsyth does not know why kissing under the mistletoe started, the author says he does know that the tradition began between andin England.

Although mistletoe's magical hold over holiday lovers goes back way before the at the outset office Christmas party. There are hundreds of species of mistletoe a bloodsucking green plant that grows on trees and shrubs that can be bring into being around the world, and as such, many cultures have worked the bury into their customs and mythology. A lot of ancient groups associated mistletoe with fecundity and vivacity, and some considered it an aphrodisiac. They believed mistletoe, above all a rare species that grew arrange oak trees, to have sacred powers including the ability to heal illnesses, protect against nightmares, and even calculate the future. As such, the Druids would collect it during the summer and winter solstices hence, they were most likely the first to abuse mistletoe to decorate houses around Christmastime, although their tradition had nothing en route for do with the Christian holiday. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe started in ancient Greece, during the festival of Saturnalia and later all the rage marriage ceremonies, because of the plant's association with fertility. During the Roman era, enemies at war would bring together their differences under the mistletoe, which to them represented peace. Romans additionally decorated their houses and temples along with mistletoe in midwinter to please their gods. There is also a Nordic myth concerning mistletoe, and it goes like this: The plant was blessed to Frigga, the goddess of adoration, but Loki, commonly known as the god of mischief, shot Frigga's daughter with a spear or, in a few tellings, an arrow carved from mistletoe.

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