Under the mistletoe

There’s still time to hang the mistletoe. It looks nice and is a good excuse to give your loved ones an impulsive kiss. Did you know that the Christmas tradition of hanging a branch of mistletoe came from the Celts and the Germans? This sacred plant was a symbol of fertility for them. The tradition to kiss under the mistletoe began in Scandinavia and Great Britain, and that’s how the green branches with white berries became a symbol of peace and love.

In the wild

Wild mistletoe grows especially in South Limburg. You’ll also come across it in other places in the Netherlands, but not so often because mistletoe growth is a complicated process that takes years. The plant is a semi-parasite that lives on trees. Birds spread the berry-like fruit by eating it in the trees. They leave bits of the berries behind and so the seeds can germinate. The plant depends on its host tree for water and nutrients. In the olden days, mistletoe was known as a witch’s herb for its medicinal properties.