Fundoo Times
History of Christmas mistletoe dates back to the ancient Scandinavian custom according to which it is the 'plant of peace.'

History of Christmas Mistletoe

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 Christmas festivities.

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 Christmas Eve.