Here’s How the Tradition of Mistletoe Started

Photo by Paul Zoetemeijer on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered how a small green plant with white berries became synonymous with holiday cheer? Who came up with the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe? To quench your curiosity, here’s a look at how it all got started. 

Ancient Roots

The tradition of mistletoe dates back to ancient times. Legend has it that mistletoe was associated with Frigg, the Norse goddess of love and marriage. It is said that Frigg declared mistletoe a symbol of love after a tragic incident involving her son. She promised a kiss to anyone passing beneath it as a sign of goodwill.

Evolution of the Tradition

The custom of kissing under the mistletoe gradually evolved over the centuries. It gained popularity in England during the 18th century as part of Christmas celebrations. A person standing under the mistletoe could receive a kiss from anyone nearby. However, according to etiquette, you had to pluck a berry from the mistletoe for each kiss. Once all the berries were gone, the kissing had to stop.

Modern-Day Interpretation

Today, mistletoe remains a beloved holiday tradition. It’s often hung in homes or public spaces during the holiday season, inviting friends, family, and couples to steal a kiss underneath it.