MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Ah, some Christmas time traditions never grow old like festive holiday lights, a sea of presents underneath the tree and, who could forget, kissing under a sprig of mistletoe.
But how the heck did that plant get chosen for the smooching custom?READ MORE: CBS4 Exclusive: Former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel Calls Scot Peterson's Press Conference On His Deposition 'Fictional'
Well, believe it or not, the tradition of hanging mistletoe, which grows on a wide range of trees including oak and willow, goes back to the ancient Druids, according to whychristmas.com. It was supposed to have mystical powers and ward off evil spirits.
Mistletoe is also said to be a sexual symbol, because of the consistency and color of the berry juice as well as the belief that it is an aphrodisiac, the “soul” of the oak from which it grows, according to howstuffworks.com.READ MORE: Miami Beach City Commission Unanimously Approves Dedicating Baseball Field After Surfside Condo Collapse Victim Manny LaFont
The custom of kissing under it came from England. Originally, a berry was picked from the sprig before the person could be kissed. When all the berries had gone, there could be no more kissing.
According to the myth, couples who kiss under the mistletoe will have will have good luck, a happy marriage, and long life. An unmarried woman who is not kissed under it will remain single for another year.MORE NEWS: Parkland Parent Max Schachter Donates $25,000 To Marjory Stoneman Douglas Orchestra To ‘Keep Alex's Memory Alive’
The word “mistletoe” is derived from the Anglo-Saxon words, “mistel” (dung) and “tan” (twig) — misteltan is the Old English version of mistletoe. It literally translates as ‘poo on a stick’! It’s thought that the plant is named after bird droppings on a branch.