What does mistletoe mean?

We all know that you have to kiss when you’re under a mistletoe. But what else do you know about this typically Christmas plant? We anticipate that the legends around the mistletoe are many.

Mistletoe was sacred to the ancient Druids. Apart from its undeniable virtues to combat arteriosclerosis and blood pressure, it was attributed the power to protect and heal magically.

It was also considered a symbol of peace and a powerful protective amulet, in addition to the symbol of masculinity, as opposed to holly, which was the symbol of femininity.

According to an ancient superstition, it was hung over children’s cradles to prevent fairies from stealing them and replacing them with others. There are legends that say that its magical powers come from the fact that it was created as an element that was not from heaven or earth, since its roots never touch the earth, but it does not support itself in the air either. Hence the custom of picking it up without allowing it to fall to the ground, and hanging it from the ceiling.

In ancient times, the rite of cutting mistletoe was respectful and complex. The best mistletoe to cut, the most valuable, was the one that grew on oak trees. Tradition said that you had to ask the plant for permission before cutting it down, and that whoever did not do so with due reverence would suffer all kinds of ills. It had to be cut when the moon was six days old, in one fell swoop, using a golden sickle and preventing it from falling to the ground.

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The kiss

Already in ancient times, kissing under a tree with mistletoe was considered to make love last or even start it. That is the meaning of the current custom of kissing the couple under the mistletoe (usually hung from the lintel of a door or from the ceiling, in the absence of an oak tree): it is supposed to make love last.

According to European folklore, mistletoe represents fertility due to its ability to reproduce, as well as its ability to remain evergreen, even in periods of hibernation.

The Scandinavians believed that mistletoe was a plant of peace, so it was customary to declare a truce to the enemy under this plant; sometimes even conflicting spouses kissed and made passes under this plant too. Hence the idea that kissing under the mistletoe would bring health, fertility and possibilities of commitment for young couples.

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