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.

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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 often associated with Christmas in the west often 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.

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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.

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

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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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Mistletoe at Christmas

  1. Why is mistletoe used at Christmas?

    The tradition of using Mistletoe on Christmas eve is very old. People believe that by hanging Mistletoe in the back of their houses during the time of Christmas Eve, all the good fortune will come to their house and the evil Fortune will be removed from the house.

  2. Why do we kiss under mistletoe at Christmas?

    There is a tradition of kissing under the Mistletoe plant during the Christmas eve. The Mistletoe plant is considered to be a symbol of romance and if a couple kisses under this then they are most likely to remain together. After kissing they are supposed to pluck a berry from the plant.

  3. When was mistletoe first used at Christmas?

    The custom of kissing under the Mistletoe plant during the Christmas eve comes from England. It is believed that this tradition was started many centuries ago buy the druids.

  4. What happens if you don't kiss under mistletoe?

    If a person refuses to kiss under Mistletoe, then bad luck is most likely to follow them. A person should always have a Mistletoe which has a good number of berries in it.

  5. Is holly and mistletoe the same thing?

    Holly is an evergreen plant that contains green shrubs and spike leaves along with red berries. While on the other hand a Mistletoe plant is a seed plant that remains attached to a parent tree.

  6. What country did mistletoe come from?

    The Mistletoe plant is a parasite plant that grows on a parent tree and is found commonly in New Jersey and Florida. The region of North America is considered to be the birth place of this plant.


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.

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.


  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