|One of the best Christmas traditions around the world is the hanging of the mistletoe in doorways to receive a kiss underneath it. But where did this tradition begin and does the mistletoe have magical powers?
Some say it began with the Norse myths. It is said that one of the gods gave her son, Balder, some mistletoe to protect him from the cold, but instead it caused him harm when he was struck by another godís arrows, made of mistletoe. The myth goes on that his mother cried white berries for tears and she was able to bring her son back to life. It is said that she vowed to kiss anyone who went underneath this plant. From there, the tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe began.
In earlier times, Mistletoe was thought to have had magical powers as it grew and flourished without any visible nourishment and the roots did not even touch the soil. It even thrived in the dead of winter which led the earlier civilizations to believe it was possessed with magic. In earlier times they even used the mistletoe to heal epilepsy, as an antidote for poisoning, and it would also protect you from witches and trolls.
While in earlier times, they did not understand how this could be, we now know that the seeds are dropped into the trees from bird droppings and as long as the environment is acceptable, the mistletoe will grow where the seeds lie. We call these aerial hemiparasites, as they attach themselves by a special root that absorbs water and food from the host tree.
It is very understandable how earlier civilizations would believe this plant to be magical. Actually, most of us still believe it to be magical. Does the mistletoe hold magical powers? Even though we now have the scientific reasoning behind the plant, we still hold on to our belief as we wait to be kissed under the mistletoe.