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Mistletow - Origination

Definition: Where did the tradition of mistletoe originate?

 

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant which perches on a tree branch and absorbs nutrients from the trunk - hardly one of the most romantic forms of life. But it has been inspiring people to go at it for generations. Mistletoe has a large mythological background across many cultures.

The Greeks believed that Aeneas, the famous ancestor of the Romans carried a sprig of mistletoe in the form of the legendary golden bough. In Eddic tradition, mistletoe was the only thing able to kill the god Baldur, since it had not sworn an oath to leave him alone. Amongst other pre-Christian cultures, mistletoe was believed to carry the male essence, and by extension, romance, fertility, and vitality.

Its use as decoration stems from the fact that it was believed to protect homes from fire and lightning. It was commonly hung at Christmas time only to remain there all year until being replaced by another sprig next Christmas. The process by which mistletoe became associated with kissing is currently unknown, but it was first recorded in 16th century England as a very popular practice. Mistletoe carries a pretty good legacy, for a parasite of a plant that causes diarrhea and stomach pain when ingested.

Collections:

Christmas Traditions and Folklore

 

Related Categories:

| St. Nicholas | Krampus | St. Nicholas Symbols | Origin of Santa Claus | Boxing Day - Origination | Santa Claus and Coca-Cola | Gift Giving - Origin | Stockings at Christmas - Origin | Wreaths - Origin | Christmas Tree - Origin | Caroling - Origin |

Resources:

  external link10 Remarkable Origins of Common Christmas Traditions - Listverse

 

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