The origins of kissing under the mistletoe, a plant that often bears white berries, are often traced to a tale in Norse mythology about the god Baldur. In the story, Baldur’s mother Frigg casts a powerful magic to make sure that no plant grown on earth could be used as a weapon against her son. The one plant the spell does not reach is the mistletoe, as it does not grow out of the earth, but out of a tree’s branches. The scheming Loki, upon learning this, makes a spear out of mistletoe — the spear that would eventually kill Baldur.
But the connection between that story and the tradition is unclear, and may not even exist at all.
In many tellings, Frigg declares the mistletoe to be a symbol of love after her son’s death and promises to kiss anyone who passed underneath it. If that’s an accurate version of the story, it would be clear how it directly connects to the romantic act of today. Historian Mark Forsyth says this is not actually the way the story ends, however. Forsyth is the author of A Christmas Cornucopia: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Yuletide Traditions, and examined four Norse accounts of the god’s murder and the events that followed. “Baldur’s death involves mistletoe, but it’s got nothing to do with kissing or Christmas,” he tells TIME.
If you want to read more, go here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistletoe
This cheesy version of cabbage soup is inspired by an Old World recipe. Scandinavian Cabbage Soup is chock-full of veggies and creamy richness, making it a hearty and flavorful main dish, and it only takes 30 minutes from start to finish!
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3 cups chopped cabbage
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup thin carrot slices
- 1 (14-1/2-ounce) can cream-style corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
- ***To lighten up this soup a bit, start with olive oil instead of butter and use a reduced-fat cheddar cheese.