The Mistletoe Legend
"For centuries, mistletoe has been considered a plant that increases life and fertility. Norse legends tell the tale of Balder, son of the goddess Frigga. As the legend goes, Balder was killed with an arrow made of mistletoe. Saddened by her son’s death, Frigga wept tears of white berries which brought Balder back to life. Frigga was so overjoyed that she blessed the plant and promised a kiss to all who passed beneath it. This is the most probable explanation for the current widespread custom of kissing under the mistletoe during the Christmas season."
English Heritage are keen to revive this Christmas tradition this year and have given it a 21st century twist. Special 'selfie' kissing booths have been set up at Belsay Hall Castle and Gardens and Housesteads Roman fort (plus other sites across the country) where you can catch a special Christmas kiss with your loved ones.
Doesn't this Christmas Kiss at Houseteads just melt your heart!!
Win an English Heritage Membership & Hamper
This cheeky challenge aims to capture 1000 kisses before 3rd January. All kiss pictures that are tagged with #EH1000KISSES and uploaded to social media will be entered into a prize draw to win an English Heritage membership and hamper.
English Heritage has a programme of festive events which bring the history of Christmas to life. Visitors can learn how to make a Christmas pudding with a Victorian cook, hear tales of Christmas past and enjoy carols and brass band performances at Belsay Hall. At Housesteads Roman Fort, the Roman Winter Festival of Saturnalia is celebrated and the similarities between this ancient festival and today’s Christmas are explored. For more information about how to take part in the Christmas kiss challenge and for details of Yule-tide events visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/