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Why do people kiss under the mistletoe?

Jessie Brown

We are here to help you get a kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas.

Kissing is a very popular university student activity but usually it involves a lot of courting, flirting and a couple of dates to score a sloppy one (sloppy kiss that is). Yet Christmas delivers a culturally acceptable way to steal a kiss this festive season. And it all comes down to a plant called mistletoe.

Mistletoe is the name of a plant often used for decorating at Christmas time. It is actually a parasitic plant that attaches to trees and shrubs and lives off their nutrients…awkward. But culturally mistletoe is used to steal a lover’s kiss at Christmas.

The basic idea: When you and another person are caught standing beneath the mistletoe you have to kiss. No argument, these are the rules so be careful what you walk under until December 25. Of course the tradition has now gone mobile with many men carrying mistletoe with them only to hold it above themselves when in close proximity to a good looking lady, or lad. This takes stealing a kiss to another level.

But why do people kiss under the mistletoe? It all dates back to pre-Christian Europe where mistletoe was used to symbolise masculinity, including romance, vitality and fertility. This symbolism led to a belief that the mistletoe had mystical powers such as the power to start romance and eventually this started the custom of kissing beneath the magical mistletoe plant. The earliest documented kiss beneath the mistletoe is from 16th Century England…another great invention from the Brits. You are very welcome!

So with Christmas approaching it is time to put the lip balm on and pucker up just in case you get caught beneath the mistletoe for a sneaky kiss. 

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