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Mistletoe (origins)

Mistletoe (origins)

by Flower Experts Editor on December 6th

Mistletoe is very significant and popular at Christmas. It stems from traditions which date back to the time of the Druids and maybe even further. There are a variety of traditions as far as mistletoe is concerned; a few of which are kept today.
Mistletoe grows high on trees such as poplar, limes and most commonly apple trees. It gets its name from the variety of birds which love mistletoe including the Mistle Thrush in particular. It is quite rare and unusual to see growing on trees but people still seek it out as it is a popular decoration at Christmas as well as a symbol of many good things. The tradition of kissing under the Mistletoe is always popular at parties but if that's not for you then presenting a Christmas bouquet to your loved one will always go down well!

Loooking back, the Druids, for example, used Mistletoe as an aphrodisiac and it is still associated with love and kissing today. In Scandinavian tales it appears as a symbol of peace and love and it is still used for religious festivities. The Norse story of Frigga and Balder shows the mistletoe as representative of life when her tears create the berries. Other myths and stories closer to home are also associated with the importance of mistletoe. For example in the second century it was thought to ward off witches and lightning strikes in England.
In Scotland, however, a sprig of mistletoe in a baby's cot will ward off wolves and keep them at bay. While these traditions became outdated new ones were formed across England.
In Herefordshire a story spread about a child running across a field with burning mistletoe to bring about a good crop.

Today it is still used to bring good luck if you keep it in the house over the New Year and take it down January 6th.

Tags: mistltoe, druids, frigga, balda, bouquet

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