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Monday, December 21, 2015


Ever wonder about the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe? Where did this odd practice come from? Many customs and rituals throughout history involve this unique plant.
European mistletoe is a green plant with white berries. It is a partial parasite that lives on tree bark, using the host for nutrients and nourishment. The plant mainly grows on apple trees, but also survives on oak.
Ancient Celts revered the mistletoe that grew on oak trees and the druids used it in ceremonies. The plant was cut down, and along with the sacrifice of a couple of white bulls, mistletoe was used as an elixir said to cure infertility and the effects of poison.
The Greeks believed that mistletoe had healing properties and was also used as an aphrodisiac. During the Roman tradition of Saturnalia, kissing under the mistletoe was an important event because of the plant’s association with fertility. Over time, the tradition morphed as it worked its way into other customs. In Victorian England if a young lady stood under the mistletoe, she couldn’t refuse a kiss. Doing so was considered bad luck.
The ritual spread across the globe from Europe to North America, where the native mistletoe with waxy green leaves and red berries became the common variety used in today’s tradition. Many people still place a sprig of mistletoe over a doorway or hang some from the ceiling to celebrate good luck and the hope of love.
Mistletoe has long been a part of holiday celebrations bringing people together.
Do you use mistletoe during the winter holidays? If so, how?

 Rosalie Redd ~ Discover otherworldly love…

Bio….After finishing a rewarding career in finance and accounting, it was time for Rosalie Redd to put away the spreadsheets and take out the word processor. She writes Paranormal/Science Fiction Romance inspired by classics from the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres layered with a good, hot dose of romance.
She currently lives in Oregon, where rain is just another excuse to keep writing. When not at her computer, you can find her at Jazzercise, waterfall collecting in the Pacific Northwest, or relaxing with her husband and their pesky cat, Snookums.

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1 comment:

Judith Ashley said...

Interesting post, Rosalie. I've never seen mistletoe with red berries. Seems oak trees in the Willamette Valley have the European type with the white berries. I have a dried sprig from last year - still has some berries on it because I never hung it up! The other part of the tradition I grew up with was you plucked a berry off whenever you were kissed - and if the mistletoe had no berries, it no longer was lucky nor did it help with fertility.