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A time spent in fashion, the custom of New Years Mistletoe deserves to be honored for at least two good reasons: it is a good pretext to bring nature into your home again in the middle of winter, and a great excuse to kiss everyone we love. We tell you everything about this tradition from the Celts, but for kisses, we let you do ...
The fabulous destiny of a parasite that has become a sacred plant, mistletoe
At the start, nothing predisposed mistletoe, Viscum album in Latin, to become the star of New Year. This so-called "hemiparasite" sub-shrub settles on the branches of large European trees to collect their sap and their mineral salts: as much to say that his sympathy capital started badly. But that was without counting on the Celts, who lend it medicinal, even magical, virtues. Its leaves remaining green in winter (it assimilates its chlorophyll on its own), it becomes a symbol of immortality and the Druids use it to cure many diseases, neutralize the effects of poisoning, boost the fertility of herds, protect against evil spirits or make ghosts speak. Even Panoramix will pick the oak mistletoe with its golden billhook to make the magic potion of Asterix, that is to say. At the beginning of each year, the Celts take the habit of hanging mistletoe at the door of their house to ensure the prosperity of the home for the coming year: the tradition has just been born.
And mistletoe becomes a real "kissing plant" ...
At the same time, another custom appears in the forests of Gaulle and England (we then speak of "Brittany"): when enemies meet under a mistletoe ball, they lay down their arms and stop fighting overnight . We are not yet in the bestowals of tenderness, but the mistletoe begins to incite benevolence. During the holidays, the Celts welcome their guests under a ball of mistletoe as a sign of peace, and little by little the tradition of kissing takes hold. If they have not yet invaded Gaulle, the Romans also collect mistletoe at the end of December to celebrate the Saturnalia with great fanfare, and do not escape the tradition of kissing during the marriage rituals celebrated at that time. Add to this a Nordic legend according to which the mother of the god Baldr, collapsed by the death of his son killed by an arrow in mistletoe, decides to ward off the spell by kissing anyone passing under a ball of mistletoe, and here is the parasite hardwoods definitely associated with kisses ... From the 18th century, it is even said that young girls kissed under the mistletoe of the New Year were promised marriage in the year.
"Kissing balls", a tradition to bring up to date
Whether you are superstitious, single, curious about old customs or simply keen on plants and decoration, it would be a shame not to install a beautiful branch of mistletoe above the door this year. The Americans call it "kissing ball", which can be translated as "kissing ball". But whether you choose a ball, a wreath, a bouquet or just a small branch, the important thing is to have fun with a beautiful plant decoration loaded with symbol ... After you can forget the Celts, Romans and Gauls and kiss whoever you want under your mistletoe, at midnight sharp on January 1 or during the whole holiday season ... Mistletoe New Year!