Poor mistletoe was a no-go for a few years as kissing and general getting too close wasn’t the best plan during the pandemic. In fact, we couldn’t even buy it last year it was that unpopular!
This year it’s back and in case you’ve forgotten or ever wondered, here’s what it actually is. Mistletoe has over 1,300 species and is in fact a parasite that grows on other ‘host’ plants. It’s berries are poisonous to humans but have also been used in medicine for colon cancer – so not all bad!
Us florists love its pretty berries and it looks truly beautiful wrapped with a new bow and hung above a doorway for stolen kisses. But where does that tradition come from? Well no one is completely sure.. the Norse people believed Mistletoe could be sued to kill the God, Baldur the Beautiful, who had links to the mischievous god, Loki. The Greeks believed it allowed a hero, Aeneas, to visit his father in the after life.
The kissing is believed to date back to the Celtic Druids who believed the plant had fertility powers due to its ability to produce berries even in the coldest of winters. More recently in Europe, it is believed a berry would be removed for every kiss. When empty, the sprig would have lost its kissing powers.
So now you know! Enjoy your kisses.