Aaron presents… Mistletoe and its connections with Christmas…

Mistletoe. We’ve all heard about it. We’ve all known it has connections with Christmas. But why? Why does this Pagan plant has connections with the famous Christian ceremony? Let me explain.

Viscum album by Jeffdelonge. CC BY-SA 3.0 Licence

Mistletoe, is a parasitic plant that directly derives it food from other plants. It was first found during the Celtic era, but it was and still is banned from church Christmas celebrations because of its connection with the pagans (People who worshipped pre-christian Gods) 

So why does this pagan plant have connections with Christmas?

Well, it all started during the Celtic era, after Europeans of the time, became obsessed with oak trees, after they decided they would find out, why things were the way they were. Theoprastus, first described it, but it was never recorded, so Pliny the Elder made the first recorded description of it. He explained that whatever grew on the oak tree was sent from heaven and mistletoe grew on these trees. People celebrated when they saw the tree with it’s fully grown mistletoe.

Now that’s all very well, but why is it associated with Christmas?

The plants first Christmas connections is that they were sold in Christmas markets around Europe and people hung them outside their houses or from their ceilings. Any female who hung around long enough was fair game for a cheeky kiss under the plant. It is still much used today but it is very rarely practised, even though the custom is still well known. Another thing is that the plants is supposed to protect people from monsters during the Christmas period

So there. You finally know why Mistletoe is connected with Christmas. And you’ve got the Europeans to thank.

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