Seven Days before Christmas (6) – Tanka – December 23, 2015

Credits: ianswalkonthewildside  Celebrating the Wild Side of Yorkshire’s Coast & Country

green with white berries
the druid searches the forest
young people too
for love, peace and magic
a gift of mistletoe

© G.s.k. ‘15

To tell the truth, I never understood why a parasitic plant like mistletoe should be a symbol of love … but I supposed it had to do with its evergreen beauty, so, I did a brief search and this is what I found:

“The tradition of hanging it in the house goes back to the times of the ancient Druids. It is supposed to possess mystical powers which bring good luck to the household and wards off evil spirits. It was also used as a sign of love and friendship in Norse mythology and that’s where the custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from.

When the first Christians came to Western Europe, some tried to ban the use of Mistletoe as a decoration in Churches, but many still continued to use it! York Minster Church in the UK used to hold a special Mistletoe Service in the winter, where wrong doers in the city of York could come and be pardoned.

The custom of kissing under Mistletoe comes from England. The original custom was that a berry was picked from the sprig of Mistletoe before the person could be kissed and when all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing!

The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo-Saxon words ‘Mistel’ (which means dung) and ‘tan’ (which means) twig or stick! So you could translate Mistletoe as ‘poo on a stick’!!! Not exactly romantic is it!

Mistletoe was also hung on the old English decoration the Kissing Bough.”

Why Christmas Com (where you can find more information about Christmas traditions.


Carpe Diem Seven Days Before Christmas 2015 #6 mistletoe

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21 thoughts on “Seven Days before Christmas (6) – Tanka – December 23, 2015

  1. Loved your tanka, cara. Thanks for the history of the mistletoe. I never really liked that tradition…of course it was not something common in the French Canadian household…I think they just followed it from watching movies. Now I need to check more about that …I used to run away from that mistletoe so grabby smelly uncles might catch me…yuk!

    Like

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