Saturday, 5 December 2009

Day 5

Have you ever wondered about mistletoe and where it came about that you should kiss when caught underneath a branch of it? I found this interestig little titbit about it and thought I'd share it with you.

The Druids, who lived in Britain in pre-Christian times, are responsible for the use of mistletoe at Christmas. They worshipped the oak tree and as mistletoe grew on oak trees they regarded it as a very special plant and thought it possessed magical qualities that kept the sleeping oak alive during the cold winter days. They believed chopping down an oak tree covered in mistletoe promised death to the woodcutter within the year.

The Druids dedicated mistletoe to the Goddess of Love, which explains the kissing that goes on under it. Originally, when a boy kissed a girl, he plucked a berry from the cluster and presented it to her. When the berries were gone, so were the kisses.

A traditional rhyme about mistletoe

'Pick a berry off the mistletoe
For every kiss that's given.
When the berries have all gone
There's an end to kissing.'

Victorians bound the mistletoe to a frame to make a 'kissing ring'. Each time a gentleman caught a lady under the mistletoe, he was allowed to claim a kiss.

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