The Story Behind The Mistletoe Tradition at Christmas
I have a friend who is always wondering how something got started. Like who ever decided that we could cook and eat eggs or that turnip greens is something that you should eat.
One of the things that many people wonder about is how the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe curing the Christmas holidays ever got started.
Mistletoe was believed to hold sacred powers of healing by the ancient Celts of Britain. They believed that it contained the soul of the tree from which it was cut. In their language it meant "All Heal".
The pagan priests of the Druids would carefully cut boughs of Mistletoe with a golden sickle from the sacred Oak trees. They believed that if they touched the ground they would get contaminated. After they had gathered the Mistletoe they would cut into springs and give to the people to be used as protection from storms and other forms of evil.
The Norse myth about mistletoe states that Balder dies in a dream he has. Alarmed by this dream, his mother Frigga, the goddess of love and beauty, went to all the elements (fire, air, earth and water) and pleaded for them to spare her son. Once satisfied that she had secured the elements cooperation whe then told he son Balder that he would live forever.
Balder's one enemy, Loki, the god of evil utilized the one plant that Frigga had overlooked which was Mistletoe and fashioned a plan to use it against Balder. He dipped a branch of the Mistletoe into poison and tricked Hoder, Balder's blind brother, into firing it and killing Balder. Each of the elements failed at their attempts to bring Balder back to life. However, his mother Frigga shed tears which is said to have turned into the berries on Mistletoe and when then rained upon Balder they brought him back to life.
She was so joyous at his resurrection she reversed the poisonous reputation of Mistletoe and kissed everyone who walked beneath the tree where the Mistletoe grew. She also issued a decree that anyone passing under the Mistletoe must kiss so that no harm would come to them in the future.
So now that you know that kissing under the Mistletoe will protect you from harm and it is not just a fun thing to do maybe you will kiss someone under the Mistletoe this Christmas season.