Mistletoe & Kisses

Written by | Nani's Nuggets

mistletoe

Have you ever wondered why people kiss under mistletoe? I have and that’s why I decided to share my newfound knowledge with you. So I did some research and found that there are quite a few myths about this. Today, I will be sharing with you the one that I think makes the most sense.

The first thing you should know is that mistletoe is a parasitic plant. Okay? Alright. Now, this myth has so many versions but I will do my best to summarize it. So, legend has it that Norse gods Odin and Frigg had a son named Baldur. Now Frigg was beloved by everyone and everything so much so that when she gave birth to Baldur, everything – I mean trees, animals, people and the like – promised that they wouldn’t harm him. However, Loki, the god of mischief did not like the attention Baldur was getting and so he was like, “there must be something that can hurt this guy”. So he found out – well, Frigg let it slip – that the mistletoe never made the promise not to harm her son because she felt he (the mistletoe) was too young and wouldn’t even think to harm anyone. So Loki went to get some mistletoe and deceived some blind god to throw the mistletoe at Baldur and he died. 

Now as there are many versions of this very myth, there are also very different endings. The darker one has it that, Hel the god of death would return Baldur if everyone were to weep for him. So everybody gathered to cry except some giantess who was actually Loki in disguise. And yeah that was that. The happier, more relevant ending for us has it that Frigg herself wept for her son and her tears formed the white berries that grow on the mistletoe. She then took these berries and placed them on her son’s chest and he came back to life. Frigg was so overjoyed that she blessed the mistletoe and proclaimed that all who passed under it would receive a kiss and protection.

Another ending even says that Frigg was so happy that the gods brought her son back that she was kissing everyone. I’m not sure how but I guess that’s how it morphed into kissing under the mistletoe for good luck? Who knows?

Well, there you have it. If you want to read more on this here are some links 🙂

Last modified: April 18, 2021

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