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Mistletoe, the Vampire Vine

So many of our Christmas traditions are actually of pre-Christian pagan origins. I typically see some yahoo crowing online because he’s just figured this out, acting like he’s made some great discovery. It is common knowledge to the educated; there is nothing hidden about it. Christmas trees, holly, decking the halls and all that—pagan. Evergreen plants were believed to be magical because they could survive the winter. People would bring them inside for luck, and over time they started decorating the trees. Yule Log: pagan. Even the date of Christmas, December 25th, is pagan in origin. And mistletoe, the plant beneath which people are supposed to kiss? Both the bringing of it indoors and the kissing beneath it are of pagan origin.

Oh, and mistletoe is also a vampire.

It isn’t likely to drink *your* blood, but it is a parasite, true enough. A life-sucker. Also, there is no one singular plant called mistletoe; there are over a thousand types of these hemiparasites. This last means that they suck water and nutrients from the trees they attach themselves to, although they do still absorb solar radiation. In that sense, then, they deviate from the common notion of a vampire. Still, mistletoe has its bite.

TheCheezman • December 28, 2018

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