Mistletoe

Bringing mistletoe into the house has its roots in pagan traditions. For the ancient Druids the plant was a symbol of fertility. It was also thought to bring good luck and protection from witches.

Mistletoe also plays a part in Norse legend. People hung it and kissed under it to remember Baldur. He was the son of the god Odin and goddess Frigga, and was killed with an arrow made of the plant.

In medieval times, a kissing-bough – a ball of leaves and twigs - was often hung in the home during December. By the 18th century mistletoe had taken its place in Christmas celebrations. In one tradition, a berry is plucked for every kiss, with the kisses stopping once all the berries are gone.