Under the Mistletoe: The Origins of the Christmas Kissing Tradition

Under the Mistletoe: The Origins of the Christmas Kissing Tradition

Under the Mistletoe: The Origins of the Christmas Kissing Tradition. Image: Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock.com.

The origins of the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe remain shrouded in historical mystery, leaving historians to speculate.

However, a consensus emerges regarding when and where this custom first took root, and the enchanting story behind its popularity during Christmastime.

According to Norse mythology, the narrative unfolds around Baldur, the Norse god of the summer sun.

Baldur was haunted by a premonition of his own demise, plunging him into despair as he believed every living entity sought to end his existence.

In a bid to protect her son, Frigg, the goddess of love, marriage, and beauty, extracted an oath from all elements, plants, and animals, pledging not to harm Baldur.

Yet, in a fateful oversight, she omitted to secure the same promise from the seemingly inconspicuous mistletoe.

Seizing this vulnerability, Loki, the mischievous god, crafted a poisoned dart from the mistletoe and used it to fatally wound Baldur, much to the horror of the assembled gods.

The berries of the mistletoe were said to be the tears of the grieving mother, Frigg.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, a divine decree emerged, proclaiming that henceforth, mistletoe would symbolise love, not death.

In an act of remembrance, mistletoe found its place under doorways, ensuring it would never be overlooked again.

The tradition then took a romantic turn, dictating that any two individuals passing under the mistletoe would exchange a kiss, a homage to the memory of Baldur.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.