Bundles of mistletoe branches are placed in doorways during the Christmas season. Not only is it a favorite Christmas decoration like the Christmas tree, it also serve a more special purpose, for everyone caught under the mistletoe is obliged to kiss his or her special someone. It is an old tradition and is still popular during the Holidays for the mistletoe is long believed to have medicinal values as well as to keep away evil spirits, and kissing under the mistletoe is said to bring good luck to the kissing couple.
The Kissing Under the Mistletoe Legend and other Traditions
In ancient Norse mythology, the god Balder spoke to his mother Frigga about his dream about dying. In order for the dream not to come to pass, Frigga ordered all things growing from the Earth, both plants and animals not to hurt her son.
But Frigga made a mistake, for she has over looked the mistletoe, a plant that grows not on soil but on top of other trees.
Loki, the God of Mischief and an enemy of Balder, eventually found out about the mistake and tricked the blind god Hoder in killing Balder using a spear made out of mistletoe. Loki handed the spear, and helped the blind god with his aim, saying that there is a deer over a distace but in truth it was Balder. The death of Balder, the god of the Summer Sun brought winter to the world. The berries of the mistletoe is said to be the tears of Frigga for her dead son.
Soon after Balder was resurrected by her mother, the mistletoe was declared by Frigga to be a sacred plant that would bring love to the world. She declared anybody caught under this sacred plant should kiss each other, and a tradition was born.
From the Norse legend, the popularity of the tradition grew and has been a part of many cultures and traditions around the world including those traditions during Christmas celebrations.
The Greeks held festivals and marriage ceremonies using mistletoe, believing that kissing under the mistletoe will bring a long and happy life for the newly wedded couple.
In France, people kiss under the mistletoe as part of their New Year tradition.
In some nations, mistletoe is a sign of peace, and peace treaties should be signed under the mistletoe.
The tradition became even more popular because popular Christmas Carols and Christmas songs such as the one made popular by Michael Jackson when he was still a little kid appropriately titled “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause”.
Now everybody who wants to have a life full of love and happiness hang mistletoe to their doorways during the Christmas season.