History & Folklore
The Greek naturalist Theophrastus (c. 371 – c. 287 BC) first described mistletoe in his writings about plants. It was known to the Celtic people, who dominated Europe in the first millennium BC, as “all-
The author Washington Irving recorded as a foot note in his description of ‘Christmas Eve’ the tradition of stealing a kiss under this intriguing plant:
"The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-
Today we seem to forget about the plucking of the berries and the cessation of such privileges. Traditionally one of the mistletoe boughs used during the festive periods was meant to be hung over the entrance to a home and or the cowshed towards off evil spirits and ensure good fortune for the coming year.
The name Mistletoe comes from the Anglo-
The link between mistletoe and the traditional use for love and good comes from old Norse Mythology. The Goddess Frigga had a son, Baldur the God of the summer sun. Baldur dreamt of his early death and his mother on hearing of the dream, not only feared for her much loved son, but also for all life on earth, that required the sun for it to flourish. To safe guard her son and life on earth she made all the elements, earth, air, water and fire along with all things on the earth and of the sky promise not to hurt Baldur and to protect him.
Loki, the God of mischief and jealous of Baldur’s favour, discovered that Mistletoe being not of air, or earth had been missed by Frigga whilst getting all things to promise not to harm Baldur. Loki, exploited this situation and made a dart out of mistletoe and poisoned the tip with extracts from the plants red berries. Loki tricked Baldur’s blind brother Hod to use this dart to kill Baldur.
Everybody was worried as the Earth turned cold and life became dreary. Every creature tried to bring Balder back to life for three days but it was finally Frigga who managed to revive her son with the help of Mistletoe. Her tears fell on the plant and changed the red berries to pearly white (the colour we see to day) and restored Baludr back to life.
From that day, forward, Frigga stated the mistletoe would never harm anyone again and made it a symbol of love and made the promise to bestow a kiss upon everyone who passed beneath it.
The History and Folklore surrounding mistletoe is extensive, if you are interested follow some of our link below to learn more about this fascinating semi-
You are never too old….!
Baldur’s death at the hand of Hod with Loki in the background
There is a lot of information about mistletoe available on the very good website http://mistletoe.org.uk/homewp/
It is pointless for us to recreate what has all ready been done!
If you are looking for Fresh Mistletoe from Tenbury Wells, The Capital of English Mistletoe, consider: