Daily Wisdom Words

CHRISTMAS HISTORY/THE MISTLETOE

CHRISTMAS HISTORY/THE MISTLETOE

KISSING UNDER SPRIGS OF MISTLETOE IS YET ANOTHER PART OF THE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS!  SURPRISINGLY, THE MISTLETOE STARTED THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO IN ANCIENT GREECE.  MANY ANCIENT CULTURES PRIZED MISTLETOE FOR BEING THE HEALING MAGIC NEEDED FOR MANY THINGS.

ANCIENT GREEKS USED MISTLETOE FOR MENSTRUAL CRAMPS, TO SPLEEN DISORDERS.  THE ROMAN NATURALIST, PLINY THE ELDER, NOTED IT COULD BE USED AS A BALM AGAINST EPILEPSY, ULCERS, AND POISONS.

THE PLANTS ROMANTIC OVERTONES MOST LIKELY STARTED WITH THE CELTIC DRUIDS OF THE 1ST CENTURY A.D.  BECAUSE MISTLETOE COULD BLOSSOM DURING THE FROZEN WINTER, THE DRUIDS CAME TO VIEW IT AS A SACRED SYMBOL OF VIVACITY, AND THEY ADMINISTERED IT TO ANIMALS AND HUMANS ALIKE BECAUSE OF THE FERTILITY QUALITIES IT WAS BELIEVED TO HAVE.

ANOTHER FAMOUS CHAPTER IN MISTLETOE FOLKLORE COMES FROM THE NORSE MYTHOLOGY .  AS THE STORY GOES, WHEN THE GOD ODINS SON BALDUR WAS PROPHESIED TO DIE, HIS MOTHER, FRIGG, THE GODESS OF LOVE WENT TO ALL THE ANIMALS AND PLANTS OF THE NATURAL WORLD TO SECURE AN OATH THAT THEY WOULD NOT HARM HIM.  FRIGG NEGLECTED TO CONSULT WITH THE UNASSUMING MISTLETOE, SO THE SCHEMING GOD LOKI MADE AN ARROW FROM THE PLANT AND SAW THAT IT WAS USED TO KILL THE OTHERWISE INVINCIBLE BALDUR.  ACCORDING TO ONE SUNNIER VERSION OF THE MYTH, THE GODS WERE ABLE TO RESURRECT BALDUR FROM THE DEAD.  DELIGHTED, FRIGG THEN DECLARED THE MISTLETOE A SYMBOL OF LOVE AND VOWED TO PLANT A KIS ON ALL THOSE WHO PASSED BENEATH IT.

MISTLETOES ASSOCIATION WITH FERTILITY AND VITALITY CONTINUED THROUGH THE Middle Ages.  BY THE 18TH CENTURY, IT HAD BECOME WIDELY INCORPORATED INTO CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS.  JUST HOW IT MADE THE JUMP FROM SACRED HERB TO HOLIDAY DECORATION REMAINS UP FOR DEBATE, BUT THE KISSING TRADITION SEEMS TO HAVE FIRST CAUGHT ON BY SERVANTS IN ENGLAND BEFORE SPREADING TO THE MIDDLE CLASSES.  AS PART OF THE EARLY TRADITION, MEN WERE ALLOWED TO STEAL A KISS FROM ANY WOMAN CAUGHT STANDING UNDER THE MISTLETOE, AND REFUSING WAS VEIWED AS BAD LUCK.

TODAY, WE STILL CONSIDER THE MISTLETOE TO BE A PART OF OUR HOLIDAY TRADITIONS.  SOMEONE WHO STANDS UNDER THE MISTLETOE, MUST KISS THE MAN NEAREST TO HER.  IT IS FASCINATING TO ME HOW MUCH HISTORY IS IN ALL THE PARTS OF THE TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS!  I WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO SHARE ANY FUNNY STORIES OR COMMENTS OR A POEM ABOUT MISTLETOE BENEATH THIS POST IN THE COMMENTS SECTION!

THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Samantha Leboeuf/DWW

FROM ALL OF US AT DAILY WISDOM WORDS, WE WISH YOU AND YOURS A VERY HAPPY HOLIDAY!!! WE LOVE OUR MEMBERS FOR ALL THEIR WONDERFUL POSTS, PARTICIPATION AND ENJOYMENT OF THIS WRITING AND AUTHOR WEBSITE.  AS OUR GIFT TO YOU, WE HAVE DISCOUNTED THE PRICE OF MEMBERSHIP 50% TO $5 INSTEAD OF $10.  WE LOVE HAVING  NEW MEMBERS JOIN AS PART OF OUR GROWING FAMILY!!  WE ARE A GROWING WEBSITE FOR ALL KINDS OF WRITERS, WITH SO MUCH TO OFFER.  HAVE A LOOKSE AFTER READING THIS POST.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!

 

INFORMATION ABOUT MISTLETOE TAKEN FROM THE HISTORY WEBSITE

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