Mistletoe is a hemi-parasitic plant that grows within the branches of a tree or a shrub. Mistletoe is commonly used as a Christmas decoration and is regarded as one of the important Christmas symbols. The history of Christmas Mistletoe dates back to the ancient Scandinavian custom. Mistletoe was believed to be a 'plant of peace' by the Scandinavian people. Christmas mistletoe history is also associated with the Norse myth. Read on to know more about the history and legend related to mistletoe.
In the Norse myth, the God of vegetation named as Baldur was the
son of Norse goddess, Frigga. When Baldur was born, the goddess made
each and every plant, animal and inanimate object pledge that it
will by no means cause any harm to Baldur. Someway, the mistletoe
plant escaped her attention. This lapse was taken into advantage by
Loki, the God of Mischief and the enemy of Baldur. The cunning Loki
tricked one of the Gods into killing Baldur and as a result, Baldur
was killed with a spear made of mistletoe.
Winters hit the world after the death of Baldur. In order to bring
stability to this situation, the Gods restored life in Baldur. After
this incident, Frigga marked the mistletoe plant as a sacred plant,
which would bring love in the world and not death. Since then,
whenever two people pass under mistletoe, they kiss and celebrate
Baldur's resurrection. This custom of 'kissing under the
mistletoe' is still followed.
From the history of Christmas mistletoe, we come to know that
mistletoe was believed to be a plant of peace. Mistletoe was the
symbol of survival and hardiness. It was also considered to promote
peace and goodwill. According to Christmas mistletoe history, the
early church stalwarts were against use of mistletoe during the
festival of Christmas. They rather preferred the use of holly in the
Some magic was related to mistletoe plant. Christmas mistletoe
history throws light on the fact that the Greek thought that
mistletoe plant contained some mystical powers. Thus, the plant was
associated with many folklore customs. Later on, mistletoe branches
were hung from ceilings to protect the homes against evil spirits.
In Europe, branches of mistletoe were placed at the entrance doors
to drive away the witches.
With the passage of time, people have started using mistletoe in
almost every aspect of the celebrations of Christmas. Mistletoe was
then extensively used in Christmas tree, Christmas wreaths,
gift-wrapping and even in decorating homes during the holiday
season. Mistletoe remains hung throughout the year and protects the
house from lighting or fire. The plant is replaced the following
History of Christmas mistletoe dates back to the ancient Scandinavian custom according to which it is the 'plant of peace.'