The ancient Druids believed that mistletoe could cure infertility, illness and ward off evil. They held it especially sacred as it remained green even in the harshest of winters.
In Roman times, enemies would settle their differences under the mistletoe. To them, it was a symbol of friendship.
Kissing under the mistletoe was largely an English tradition. It was said that a kiss beneath it would bring luck, lasting friendship or even love. You were also supposed to pluck one of the berries from the mistletoe after each kiss. When all the berries had gone, the kissing was to stop.
The idea of kissing under the mistletoe is thought to have originated in Scandinavia. Loki, according to Norse legend, made an arrow out of mistletoe and used it to kill Balder, the Sun god. Balder's mother, Frigga, revived her son and declared that mistletoe would forever become a symbol of love and peace.
John is a producer, TV/radio presenter and writer living in Suffolk