Mistletoe has actually long to be ascribed through mystical strength in Ireland, much stronger than simply a spark of romance after a short kiss.

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Since victorian times, it has actually been a cherished Christmas decoration. Kissing under the mistletoe is as lot an irish Christmas tradition as that is everywhere else. Yet for centuries prior to that tradition came right into practice, this custom was in reality banned in Christian Ireland...anything held so dear through the "pagans" (Druids) was assumed to be evil.

It is in reality a helminth plant, discovered high in the trees. That doesn"t take root in the ground, however in the branches of tree itself. Although the gets all its nutrients by acquisition them indigenous the tree, its presence keeps the tree green throughout the winter.

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Like Christmas holly, mistletoe is one evergreen plant. And all evergreen plants hosted a very special ar in the hearts of the old Celtic people. While all the deciduous trees" leaves were dry up and falling away, the evergreen pipeline branches of these plants maintained the landscape green and also beautiful.

Holly, mistletoe, pine and also fir trees were quite logically celebrated in the winter due to the fact that they lug color come a colorless landscape...and lock remind us that also though the daylight is scarce and everywhere the is cold and gray, springtime is just roughly the corner.

Because the the ancient writings of Pliny the Elder we understand of the old rituals in which Druid priests commemorated the mistletoe plant. After ~ the Winter Solstice, the Druid clergymans gathered the mistletoe in a unique ceremony the lasted five days after the brand-new moon.

They would venture into the woodlands with a golden sickle to cut the mistletoe under from the Oak trees (which they additionally held in sacred honor). The clergymans separated the branches and also distributed sprigs of mistletoe amongst the people to defend them indigenous evil.

The Druids believed plants and trees all had actually a soul. So v mistletoe acquisition root in the boughs that the trees and also keeping them green through the long, cold winter, the Druids believed the mistletoe to be holding the heart of the tree.

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Ancient Celts additionally believed the mistletoe plant hosted miraculous heal powers. In fact, the word "mistletoe" in Celtic method "All-Heal". The Celts take it it top top further and came to think the mistletoe have actually strongly benevolent powers. They believed it might heal the sick, serve as an antidote because that poison, make any kind of living creature much more fertile, ward off evil, and also bring good luck and also many blessings.

So just how did the practice of kissingunder the mistletoe originate?

The Celtic people thought the strength of the mistletoe was so strong that it can actually cause mortal adversaries to lay under their arms and also forge a truce. It is this superstition that spawned the practice of hanging mistletoe end doorways at Christmastime as a prize of "Peace, and an excellent Will" to all who pass v the door. This part of the mythology bordering mistletoe originated in Scandinavia, from an old vikings myth, and also was brought throughout north Europe to with the Celtic lands.

To learn an ext about the fascinating history of mistletoe in the Druid religion and also Norse mythology, check out The golden Bough by teacher James George Frazer. Thing 65 is licensed has been granted "Balder and also the Mistletoe" and is full of all the fascinating details.

For much more about the history and symbolism that mistletoe, top our various other resources:

"Celtic Mythology and Kissing Under the Mistletoe" : About.com"s David Beaulieu

Tartans.com: "The Celtic beginnings of Mistletoe"

Christian source Centre: icons of Christmas : "Mistletoe, a spiritual Plant in the Pagan religious beliefs of the Druids"

Handbook the Christian Feasts and Customs by Francis X. WeiserClick right here for an ext Irish Christmas Resources

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