Friday, December 18, 2015

Mistletoe Magic!

We all know that when standing under the mistletoe a kiss is sure to be in your future, but have you ever wondered where the tradition came from, or who thought to pluck the berried leaf from the apple and willow trees to use as a kissing tool?

Thought to bring prosperity, and protection against evildoers, the mistletoe was held sacred, and magical by the ancient Druids in the late 1500’s. Custom states that on the sixth night of the moon, during summer and winter solstice, white priests would cut the mistletoe from its tree with a golden sickle. Along with sacrifices and prayers the Druids believed the mistletoe would grant them prosperity.

Throughout centuries the tradition of the magical mistletoe carried on. In the Middle Ages branches of mistletoe were cut and hung from the ceilings to ward off evil spirits. In Europe the mistletoe was placed over homes, and outbuildings to protect against the entrance of witches. Mistletoe was also used as an offering of peace within arguing spouses and on the battlefield. 

The kissing under the mistletoe originated from Greece where it was believed that a kiss while standing under the greenery brought on fertility and long life. In later years the British created the kissing ball, and for each kiss a berry was plucked from the sprig. Once all the berries had been taken no more kisses were given. A lady would stand under the mistletoe, a sign she was eligible, and wait for any suitors to kiss her. If not kissed before all the berries had been picked, she would not marry within the coming year.

Thus, the tradition of the mistletoe has come into the homes of many throughout the years, and whether you believe it to be magical, or not, everyone loves to be caught under the sprigs and the berries.

Merry Christmas,
Kat Flannery

1 comment:

Alison E. Bruce said...

Very interesting! I didn't know about the Greek tradition. A Norse tradition was that if two warriors met beneath the mistletoe (where it grew, or where it was hung) they must meet in peace. I used that tradition in DEADLY SEASON.