What is The Tradition of Mistletoe at Christmas – Xmas Traditions

Kissing under the mistletoe is a favorite holiday tradition for many westerners. This particular tradition is associated with Christmas.

Many people hang it up during the holiday season hoping that someone special will give them a romantic holiday kiss.

Keep reading to discover the origins of mistletoe and why this tradition is still a part of the Christmas holiday.

Where does mistletoe come from?

Mistletoe is a European plant that is known to grow in various regions of the continent. This plant is also known to grow on trees around the world.

However, there are different species of mistletoe plants.

The kind that is associated with Christmas in the west grows on trees in Ireland, England, France, German, Canada, and the United States.

Mistletoe has a Religious and Magical Past

The mistletoe plant has a religious and magical past. The Greeks used this plant as a part of their worship of Saturnalia the goddess of crops and fertility.

Many ancient cultures also viewed mistletoe in the same way. The Druids were magicians and warlocks from Ireland.

They used this plant to ward off evil spirits, as a good luck charm and to bring good luck.

The English Created the Custom of Kissing Under the Mistletoe

English people created the custom of kissing under the mistletoe. In the past, they would hang up mistletoe plants on their doorways or their ceilings. The berries would still be attached.

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Whoever passed under the mistletoe would have to kiss someone they loved or who was probably available.

You should also know that kissing under the mistletoe was a big deal for young women.

If a young unmarried woman refused to kiss any man under the mistletoe she would jeopardize her future success with finding a husband.

The only way that people could no longer kiss under the mistletoe is when the berries on the plant were plucked off or if they fell completely away.

Kissing under the Mistletoe is a holiday tradition that never faded and people still enjoy it.

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Main Points About Mistletoe at Christmas

  1. The tradition of Mistletoe at Christmas is one of the many Christmas customs that many people do not really understand how it started but just roll along with it. It is fun.
  2. The tradition of the Mistletoe has been traced to the ancient Celtic Druids. They are among the known people the mistletoe tradition has been ascribed to.
  3. The Celtic Druids used the Mistletoe for other purposes, but not to kiss under it.
  4. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe all started in Ancient Greece during the Saturnalia festival and later at wedding ceremonies.
  5. Mistletoe is a symbol of fertility, hence in Victoria England, a maiden would not receive marriage proposal the coming year if she refuses to kiss under the mistletoe.


Mistletoe was originally used by the ancient Celts – they believed it had healing powers. For some time it was even banned.

The tradition of kissing under is from England, where it was mentioned in a musical in 1784. We can see it in ”A Christmas Carol” as well.

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The tradition was that you had to pick a berry from it, and when there were no more berries, there could be no more kissing.

Word Cloud for Mistletoe at Christmas

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Mistletoe at Christmas. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Mistletoe at Christmas
  1. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/mistletoe-the-evolution-of-a-christmas-tradition-10814188/
  2. https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2011/12/how-did-mistletoe-come-to-be-associated-with-christmas-kissing.html
  3. https://www.foxnews.com/real-estate/why-kiss-under-the-mistletoe-the-stories-behind-christmas-traditions

Last Updated : 24 November, 2023

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25 thoughts on “What is The Tradition of Mistletoe at Christmas – Xmas Traditions”

  1. The intertwining of cultural, religious and festive elements in the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is fascinating!

  2. Interesting to learn how different cultures contributed to the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe.

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