What is the meaning of the kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas? –

The tradition of the mistletoe has not penetrated much in Spain, at the moment. However, in countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom, it is a very representative symbol of Christmas. But you know why do they have to kiss when they walk under some mistletoe?

Meaning of the kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas

The first thing is to know what the meaning of the kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. A meaning that leads us directly to the culture greek. The Greeks were the first to give importance to mistletoe, as they used it in the festival of the Saturnalias and in ceremonies like the marriage.

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The reason for this use went back to the popular beliefs of their ancestors. They attributed to the mistletoe the power of give life and fertility.

Obviously, this doesn’t have much to do with the origin of the kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Now place the mistletoe as a referent in various popular celebrations, laying the foundation for its later meaning.

The Greeks also believed that mistletoe was a peace plant. A plant that could help reconcile when family, friends or couples clashed. In this way, they established that when they made peace, they would give each other a kiss to forget the problems that they had. And this they would do under the mistletoe.

And again the question arises: how has this tradition become a Christmas thing? To answer this question, we must go back to the century XVIII. It was then that the english they acquired a new custom for Christmas days, based on the Greek beliefs previously explained.

In this case it had a magical meaning, tradition says that the ritual began when a young girl was placed under a branch of mistletoe, it was adorned with pretty bows. The girl standing under the mistletoe couldn’t refuse any kiss.

The kiss received would mean a deep romance and if it wasn’t, it would become an unbreakable friendship. If the girl did not receive any kiss, it would be a sign that it would take a while to arrive, although she assured the tradition, that she would marry the following year.

When the boys kissed them, they should pluck a fruit from the branch. In this way, the kisses ended when the fruits did too.

Through this tradition, many pagan cultures of Europe and other English speaking countries such as Canada or the United States, joined the custom that is still in place to this day.

The origin of mistletoe at Christmas

To understand where the traditions attached to the mistletoe plant come from, we must first understand its origin and history. The first thing to know is that mistletoe is a parasitic bush, that is, it does not grow on its own but is born on the trunk or branches of trees, preferably oaks, holm oaks and poplars.

On the other hand, there are different types of mistletoe.

  • Mistletoe with red berries (North America) – There is a type of mistletoe with red fruits, coming from North America, which is the classic that appears in all the movies
  • Mistletoe with yellow fruits (Europe) – In the European mistletoe, its fruit is whitish in color and its flower is white.

When the mistletoe begins to ripen this fruit turns. Once ripe, the fruit secretes a sticky liquid called garter. When the birds try to eat the fruit, it sticks to its beak, being forced to rub it on the branches or trunks of this or other trees, leaving the seed in them. This is how it reproduces.

In Londonin the market of Covent Gardenwe can find some Christmas lights based on the European mistletoe.

In EuropeFor centuries, mistletoe has been considered a magical and sacred plant. In Celtic culture, this plant was revered because although it has no roots, it remains green during the winter. This resistance made me think that it could help people to be more fertilesince it was capable of creating life.

At other times in history, too was used as an aphrodisiac. A long time ago, its hardness against the cold was compared to the hardness of the virile member. During the winter and summer solstices, the druids decorated the houses with mistletoe, for them, the mistletoe had magical properties of protection.

Later, the magical beliefs of the mistletoe evolved and reached the Middle Ages. At that time they served to protect houses from witches and other evil beings who believed that they could affect their families and livestock, leaving them in ruin and misery.

It was also very common leave mistletoe on the babies cribthe beliefs made them think that in this way, the baby was protected against the witches that could take it.

The tradition of the kiss under the mistletoe has endured over time to the present day, although unlike then, it is now only used at Christmas. As society has evolved and Christmas is celebrated all over the world, whether or not they are believers, the tradition has also undergone changes.

The kiss under the mistletoe will only be held on Christmas Eve, for Christians it is a mixture of religious and pagan festival. In English-speaking countries Christmas Eve it’s the magic night, when Santa Claus or Santa Klaus makes an appearance. Be that as it may, it is an international holiday that we all celebrate.

In this new tradition, the mistletoe must be placed when we decorate our houses at Christmas, it must be situated on a high place where one or two people can stay comfortably, usually on a doorjamb.

in the night of Good night, if the kiss is received by a girl, she will find love. If she already has it, she will take hold much more. if she is one kissing couple under the mistletoe, it will grant them the blessing of a pregnancy.

Why is there no mistletoe at Spanish Christmas?

To know why the mistletoe it is not part of Spanish Christmaswe have to understand the Union of Spanish traditions to Catholic beliefsfar removed from the pagan traditions that flood countries like the United Kingdom or the United States.

As we have explained, mistletoe comes from pagan cultures like the Celts. It is not surprising that these magical beliefs were not very convincing to the christian culture that has always dominated Spain.

To understand it, we only have to be aware of how long it has taken other traditions, also pagan, to become part of our culture. For example, place the Christmas tree in the houses, it is something relatively new in Spanish houses, since until not many years ago the only thing that was placed was the Bethlehem portal as Christmas decoration, a uniquely Catholic tradition.

Of course, let’s not talk about Santa Clausa custom that has not even reached all Spanish families, who only distribute gifts on Three Kings Day.

And if we forget about Christmas, we can also see other customs that we Spaniards have not fully acquired, such as the celebration of Halloween. For many it remains only in the Fall saints party.

Ideas to place mistletoe at home

If you dare with this tradition, we give you some ideas to place mistletoe at home. The truth is that there are many ways to put mistletoe at home, if you are going to give a Christmas party and you want your guests to have a fun time with the mistletoe on the door.

You can put it in the form of a bouquet, or even as a garland. However, in the United States, in recent times, hearts made of mistletoe are already being sold to hang on the door.

look at this photo gallery some ideas to hang the mistletoe at the door of the house:

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