Decorating the home is a Christmas tradition, but have you ever wondered where these holiday rituals come from? The Christmas tree is one of the most cherished holiday traditions, and the first versions of an indoor tree started to appear in Germany more than years ago, slowly spreading across Europe from there. Queen Victoria was particularly fond of the tradition and in a newspaper report of her tree in Windsor Castle caused the practice to spread to the British upper class. By the early 20th century, a Christmas tree could be found in most Christian homes in the U. In the forest, mistletoe is a bit of a scourge, a parasitic plant that latches on to trees and feeds off of them.
Rather than Santa Claus, Italian children wait for a friendly witch who arrives on the 5th January. But the connection between that story and the tradition is unclear, and Kissing underneath the mistletoe not even exist at all. This version of the story might be the reason for kissing under the mistletoe, but I think Bob is trying to tell Schoolgirl tgp movies that this is not the original norse legend and I agree and that this should be made clear :. Mistletoe, a relative of sandalwood, attaches Kissing underneath the mistletoe onto other trees to steal its host's water and nutrients. Baldur was not killed by an evil spirit, and once killed, stayed dead.
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Welcome back, bob! The bird eats the fruit and cleans the sticky coating, Kissing underneath the mistletoe mistetoe viscin ," off its beak by wiping it against a nearby branch. Because mistletoe could blossom even during the frozen winter, the Druids came to view it as a sacred symbol of vivacity, and they administered it to humans and animals alike in the hope of restoring fertility. Be the first to know! Hello, Isabella! Mistletoe berries contain certain chemicals that can be toxic to humans. Gay orgy party Again. Are you in the holiday spirit? Why do we have leap year? Geeky Girl Feb 17,
We are all familiar with at least a portion of the mysterious mistletoe's story.
- We are all familiar with at least a portion of the mysterious mistletoe's story.
- Make a joke about kissing under the mistletoe and everyone knows exactly what you are talking about.
- Mistletoe makes its annual appearance each December as millions of Americans and Europeans hang a sprig of it in their doorways during the holiday season.
- Mistletoe is one of the many Christmas holiday traditions that, frankly, most people do not understand but play along with anyway.
- Many ancient cultures prized mistletoe for its healing properties.
When we think of Christmas, lots of traditions spring to mind like holly wreaths, Christmas trees , presents and Father Christmas coming to visit. One of the perhaps more unusual traditions that many people do at Christmas is to hang a bunch of mistletoe in their house. The idea is that if you meet someone underneath it, you have to give them a kiss! But where did this tradition come from?
Mistletoe is a plant that has been written about in stories and myths for many hundreds of years. It is what's called a parasitic plant, which means that it has to grow on other trees to get what it needs to live. It's not possible for you to grow it in a pot or in the ground on its own.
The most common trees on which it grows in the UK are apple trees, but it can grow on others. There are up to 1, species of mistletoe around the world, but the European mistletoe that we know is a type called Viscum album. For example, France sees it as a good luck charm and French people often give it to friends as a New Year gift to wish them luck in the coming 12 months. The short answer to this question is there is no one simple reason!
The UK tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is thought to have started in the s, but it became much more popular throughout the s. The Victorians especially became big fans of puckering up under the plant - and it's stuck ever since! The reason there isn't one clear explanation why we kiss underneath mistletoe is because the plant has been linked to many stories and traditions over hundreds of years, and different people see it in different ways.
One of the more common meanings is that mistletoe is seen as a symbol of fertility and life - and that this could be why we kiss underneath it. In winter, when all the trees are bare and many plants have died away, mistletoe stays green and you can still see it growing around tree branches quite happily. It also thrives as not a lot of birds will eat mistletoe berries because they are not a dark colour. Not very many other animals eat them either as they can be poisonous in large quantities.
But that's not the only possible explanation! There are other stories too for why people might have started kissing under the mistletoe. Ancient Norwegian and Scandinavian tales agree that mistletoe has meanings of love and friendship. It is said that the mistletoe's white berries are tears that the goddess of love called Frigg cried for her son Baldr, and that she announced that mistletoe should be a plant of love.
With so many connections in different cultures to love and friendship, and creating new life, it is clear how a tradition of sharing a kiss underneath it has developed. Ten European Christmas traditions. A new world record for Christmas jumpers in Lancashire.
Kitten abandoned at Christmas finds a new home. Brexit has been delayed, possibly until January next year. Strictly: Who's the latest celebrity to leave? Home Menu. Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? Getty Images. Mistletoe is a plant that instantly makes a lot of us think of Christmas. It is a Christmas tradition to give someone a kiss underneath mistletoe. Mistletoe likes to grow in apple trees in orchards.
Victorian couples kissing underneath the mistletoe. When trees are bare in winter, you can see mistletoe happily growing in the branches.
Many birds prefer to eat red holly berries than white mistletoe berries. More like this. Ten European Christmas traditions 1 Dec 1 December A new world record for Christmas jumpers in Lancashire 19 Dec 19 December Kitten abandoned at Christmas finds a new home 6 Jan 6 January Top Stories.
Brexit has been delayed, possibly until January next year 1 hour ago 1 hour ago. Newsround Home.
Add a section for why are stuff cool Number Loki discovered that mistletoe had not made a promise. Some historians believe the connection between mistletoe and a kiss comes from ancient Norse mythology. Hi again, bat girl! Baldur was not killed by an evil spirit, and once killed, stayed dead. We hope you'll check out Wonder -- maybe it'll make you laugh a bit! Hi Paul!
Kissing underneath the mistletoe. Why do we have leap year?
Frigga revived her son under the mistletoe tree and decreed that anyone who stands under the mistletoe tree deserves not only protection from death, but also a kiss. In Victorian England, kissing under the mistletoe was serious business. If a girl refused a kiss, she shouldn't expect any marriage proposals for at least the next year, and many people would snub their noses at her, remarking that she would most likely end up an old maid.
Today, we take a much more lighthearted approach to the tradition. Although many couples simply just kiss when caught standing under it, there is actually a proper etiquette dating back to ancient times about kissing under the mistletoe.
Linda Allen writes in Decking the Halls: The Folklore and Traditions of Christmas Plants that the gentleman should pluck one white berry while kissing the lady on the cheek. One kiss is allowed for each berry. It should be mentioned, however, that the plant contains toxic amines , and eating its berries can cause vomiting and stomach pain.
In the past, mistletoe had been thought to be a cure for epilepsy and other ailments, but was proved false. In fact, mistletoe is probably more harmful than helpful: deaths have even been reported from drinking too much tea made from its berries. Live Science. Her tears turned into white berries that she placed onto Baldur's wound, bringing him back to life.
Overjoyed, Frigg blessed the mistletoe plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it. Although the legend of Baldur is often cited as the origin of the connection between mistletoe and a kiss, other historians point out that many versions of Baldur's story end quite differently.
In these other versions, Baldur dies and is not revived. Given the age of these myths, it's certainly possible that happier versions were passed down over time, influencing future mistletoe traditions. Mistletoe traditions have certainly evolved over time.
For example, in ancient times, visitors would kiss the hand of a host under the mistletoe when they arrived. Since then, traditions have grown a bit more personal.
Today, any couple caught standing underneath the mistletoe should prepare to pucker up! So what, exactly, is mistletoe? The far-from-romantic answer is that it's a parasitic plant, which means it depends on another plant for survival. Typically, a bird will squeeze a mistletoe berry in its beak, squishing out a sticky, coated seed.
The bird eats the fruit and cleans the sticky coating, called " viscin ," off its beak by wiping it against a nearby branch. As the viscin hardens, the seed becomes firmly attached to the host tree. More fun facts about mistletoe :. Kiss the mistletoe goodbye and prepare to go on a wild ride tomorrow with the leader of the pack and a few of his four-legged friends! No mistletoe to be found in your neighborhood?
No problem! Make your own version of mistletoe. This fun holiday craft will bring a little sparkle, cheer and sweetness to your doorway this holiday season Hi, SMG4! Hi, Amarr!! We already have a Wonder ! My boyfriend asked me why we do that every year. I said i would try to find out. I found it on this website and i supes happy i found out thx wonderopolis. I even asked my history teacher and she could not even tell me.
It is me Bat Girl. We go to school together but I will never tell my true identity. My boyfriend asks me the same thing every year too. I told him that I didn't know and then he broke up with me. I am now so lonely and heartbroken. I cant bealeave a guy would be so mean to a girl that is a world wide super hero. All I do at home is sit and cry. I eat big tubs of ice cream depeding on how sad I am.
Any way, I have better things to do than be on my computer Dont worry ur secreat is safe with me. Who dumps a girl just because she does not know something.
Im just glad wonderopolis is here to save the day. See you on Monday "bat girl". I never new what a nice and supportive person u r. I will see utomarrow too. It's nice to have friends to support you, bat girl. Click the blue text to find out! Hi again, bat girl! Thanks for sharing your story with us.
We hate to hear that you're sad! We hope you'll check out Wonder -- maybe it'll make you laugh a bit! We're glad you learned something new and shared Wonderopolis with your boyfriend, Kiss and Tell! Thanks for stopping by Wonderopolis. Hi, Annie. Mistletoe starts from a seed that attaches to a "host" tree.
The mistletoe roots itself and takes all its nutrients from the host tree. Unlike many plants, mistletoe doesn't get any nutrients from the soil. Thanks for wondering with us! There is no such Norse Legend. Baldur stayed dead. It is the central fact of the religion. While there may be a disnified retelling out there somewhere, it is no more Norse legend than a happy singing hunchback is victor hugo.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, bob! We understand that not everyone believes the same thing and that's okay! It has nothing to do with belief. There is no Norse story that has Baldur resurrected. There is a poem written by a christian that tries to make him a Christ figure from the late s, hardly Norse Legend as you erroneously state.
It is an insult to all those who are still followers of the old religion. Welcome back, bob! We apologize if we upset you. There are many theories behind the symbol of the mistletoe. That is only one of the theories. We appreciate you sharing your thoughts about it! We hope you understand and explore other Wonders on Wonderopolis!
Visit again soon! Bob's right. It's got nothing to do with being upset or offended. The article is just plain wrong. There is no such Norse legend as what is described here.
Baldur was not killed by an evil spirit, and once killed, stayed dead. There is indeed a story about Baldur's death that involves mistletoe and crying, but it's nothing like what has been described here. After Baldur had dreams of being killed, Baldur's mother Frigg made everything in the world promise not to harm him - well, almost everything. She didn't extract a promise from mistletoe, though, because it seemed too weak and insignificant.
With Baldur nearly invulnerable, the gods made a game of throwing things at Baldur, since nothing would harm him. Baldur's brother, Hodur, couldn't participate as he was blind.
Loki discovered that mistletoe had not made a promise. He put Hodur up to throwing a dart of mistletoe at Baldur, guiding his hand so that he would not miss.
The dart killed Baldur, and Baldur went to Niflheim the realm of the goddess of the dead. Hermodur rode to Hel to ask if she would release Baldur back to the world of the living. Hel said that she would, on the condition that everything in the world weep for Baldur's death. Everything did, except for one giantess, Thokk, who may have been Loki in disguise. Thokk refused to weep, condemning Baldur to stay in the underworld until Ragnarok.
That is the story. Although there is academic debate about when the details became what they are, the story itself is fixed. There is no such story in the Norse tradition as the one told in this article. Myths may not be true or scientific descriptions of the world and its history, but they do have an existence of their own as literature and as oral tradition.
It is not difficult to find sources for these stories. Really, an organization that purports to educate people and promote literacy ought to do much better than this. This version of the story might be the reason for kissing under the mistletoe, but I think Bob is trying to tell you that this is not the original norse legend and I agree and that this should be made clear :. Thanks for joining the discussion, Joseph and Thea! We appreciate you and bob telling more about the myth!
While there are many small variations, we've supplied just one summarized version, along with the trusted sources of that version. We recently updated the Wonder to include more information for you! Thanks for stopping by Wonderopolis! Sorry you didn't enjoy this Wonder, Jariyah! Good afternoon, Have to! It is amazing that something so simple can have a great story behind it.
Very interesting! This is an amazing website! We're really glad you enjoyed this Wonder and our website, Maddox M! We're sorry to hear that this wasn't one of your favorite Wonders, Katelyn! Sorry about that, but we appreciate your comment! We hope you'll find another one you enjoy-- we have more than Wonders to share! Hi Paul! Mistletoe berries contain certain chemicals that can be toxic to humans. However, as the article mentions, birds can eat the berries.
It would be very bad if a human were to eat a berry! Hello, Isabella! It was also neat to learn that mistletoe berries are toxic to humans but not to birds! Hey, Wonder Friends! Before you submit your comment, please remember:.
Why We Kiss Under the Mistletoe During Christmas | Time
Every December, couples kiss under the mistletoe to celebrate their love during the holidays. Have you ever wondered how the tradition started? We found out the history and story of why people kiss under the festive plant. So, what does hemiparasitic mean? Guillou explained that hemiparasitic plants, like mistletoe, derive some or most of its energy source from other plants like a parasite, while still engaging in photosynthesis. Although commonly found in Europe, the myriad of mistletoe species spread geographically and can now be found in Central Valley, California.
If you happen to forage through the trees, you may find green balls up to 2 feet wide forming on the branches -- and that's the mistletoe!
One or two mistletoe on a tree branch may not be an issue, but when trees become infested, the invasive plant often drains the host, snapping and breaking the tree branches with it's weight. Destroyer of trees and other plants, the mistletoe survives, germinating berry seeds to birds' delight and human harm. Poisonous for humans, these seeds would be picked up by birds and often land firmly on tree branches with their sticky nature.
The relocation of the seeds to new tree branches is pivotal to the life cycle and survival of the mistletoe plant. While the plant may not seem the most romantic, mistletoe has become the epitome of love and affection during the holiday season. The Greeks fawned over mistletoe for its healing powers. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder viewed the mistletoe as a treatment for poison, epilepsy and more. The Druids regarded the mistletoe as a symbol of vivacity, awed at how the plant blossomed in the coldest of winters.
How do these beliefs correlate to romance? According to The Smithsonian , the romantic symbolization of the mistletoe comes from ancient Norse mythology, which is a body of myths of the North Germanic peoples.
In the tale, Baldur, the grandson of a Norse god, woke up convinced that each and every plant and animal on earth wanted to kill him.
Fearing for Baldur's life, his mother Frigg, the goddess of love, pleaded with all the plants and animals of the world to promise not to harm her son. Except, she forgot to secure her son's life with one living being -- the mistletoe. Stabbed by the god Loki with an arrow made from mistletoe, Baldur's fear became reality. Today, we hang mistletoe over our doors and kiss beneath the plant as a reminder of what Baldur's mother forgot.
For all those looking for a happy ending, some optimists believe Baldur was resurrected from the dead. And to those romanticized minds, the mistletoe was deemed a symbol of love by Frigg, vowing to kiss all those who wandered beneath it. Fast-forward a few centuries and the history of kissing under the mistletoe continued to thrive.
By the 18th century, it became ubiquitous with Christmas cheer. The mistletoe tradition blossomed, first among English servants and eventually expanding to the middle class. The basis of the mistletoe tradition was that men were allowed to kiss any woman seen underneath mistletoe -- and refusal to accept was considered bad luck.
Some are not entirely confident in the story that lies within Norse mythology, and believe that the sticky seeds that cling to the tree branches are symbolic of a kiss, never falling. Whether the tale of Baldur appeals to your romantic side or the scientist within you falls for the story manifested in nature, a kiss under the mistletoe is filled with tradition and rich history.
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