TIE MICHIGAN DAILY
Pagan Customs Create
Modern Mistletoe Legend
By GEORGE LEVIN
Mistletoe has developed into one
of the females' favorite devices
for man-trapping at Christmas-
According to the legend, if a girl
stands under some mistletoe and
is not kissed, ,she will not marry.
No true man would pin such a fate
on any woman.
Mistletoe is a parasitic ever-
green bush about four feet high.
The mistletoe used at Christmas
time is mainly .obtained from the
apple orchards of Normandy and
It is a specialized parasite,
growing primarily on apple, pop-
lar and maple trees and thorns.
The custom of kissing under the
mistletoe evolved from various pa-
gan customs. The early people
thought of mistletoe as a bestower
of life and fertility. The custom is
mainly associated with license of
Saturnalia or some primitive mar-
Others saw mistletoe as a sym-
bol of peace, believing that those
who met under it were bound to
forget their emnities.
With the advent of Christianity,
mistletoe was adopted into the
However, soon the use of mistle-
toe was abandoned by the church
because they found it set couples
reading the marriage service. Hol-
ly was substituted.
But, the custom could not be
stamped out. It found its way in-
to the servants' halls. A man could
kiss any girl standing under the
mistletoe. No girl in such a posi-
tion could refuse.
Gradually the custom of hanging
mistletoe cerept into the parlor and
drawing room of English homes.
It became almost a ritual among
the older people. The old man
would approach the lady of his
choice, bow and lead her to the
mistletoe. Upon returning her to
her seat, the bow would be re-
Americans have adopted the cus-
tom but refined it to suit their
tastes. Since mistletoe is not com-
mon in the United States, holly
and other similar shrubs have
been substituted for mistletoe. The
safest spot for a girl at Christmas
time in the United States is under
the. blue sky.
Mistletoe is the Goden Bough
which Aeneas picked from the
gates of the Underworld and used
as a safe passage back to the world
of the living.
In Worchestershire and Wales
the farmers give the Christmas
bunch of mistletoe to the first cow
that calves in the new year. This
is supposed to bringluck and
health for the entire herd.
In other parts of England the
bunch is burned lest all who have
kissed under it will never marry.
is the time to
FLAKES FLY-In the form of snowballs, winter's white blanket is rearranged by the residents of the quadrangle system as twd groups
of antagonists go after each other with their icy missiles. A couple of passers-by stop to look on and evetually get hit themselves.
Skillful Strategy Highlights Snowballing
the PHOTOGRAPHY and
SPORTS STAFFS of the
Michigan Daily. Come to the
Student Publications BL.Id-
By ELLEN SILVERMAN
When one sees a snowfall the
immediate reaction is "how beauti-
ful," the secondary reaction "how
horrible to have to walk to classes
in THAT," and the third reaction
"let's have a snowball fight."
Each year, when the first snows
silently drift to earth, University
students, especially males, are giv-
en to destroying its beauty byj
promptly packing the snow into
missiles for snow barrages to
frustrate professors, coeds, and
small children who pass by.
Since this is the normal reac-
tion to snow, it is essential to
know the fundamental rules in
snowballing at the University.
No Ice, Rocks
First of all, it is an accepted
tradition that no "illegal" snow-
balls are permitted. These include
rocks and ice incased in snow, and
solid ice balls.
In Toy Buying
Christmas is the time for gift
giving, but the Michigan Depart-
ment of Health has urged all those
buying gifts for young children to
remember the hazards involved.
"Make sure each toy you buy
brings joy and not tears," the de-
partment has warned, reminding
customers the many infants and
pre-school age children are hurt
without cause each holiday season.
Some of the points to take note
of, the department stated, are that
sharp edges, small parts that can
be detached and sw allowed and
poisonous points are some of the
attributes of toys that cause many
injuries each season.
The department also reminded
buyers that even gifts for older
children can be dangerous if their
use is not supervised by adults.
The problem, then, is how to aim. By logical deduction it is
win "legally"-and it can be done. easy to see that the strategic areas s
The first step is the establishment are the face, legs, or hands, so
that the snow can not only smack
of an armaments headquarters. hard but will also melt convieni-
This can either be a snow fort, ently and run down along bare
which takes much work, or, for skin, causing dIscomfort.
the lazier students, a corner of In a large snowball fight, where
any building will certainly suffice, the opponents are not in full view, 1
Once the headquarters are set the antagonists should aim for the
up, the antagonists must assure arms supply. Of course, continued
themselves that any person pass- aiming at the opponent is fine, for
ing. will be barraged. No one must if he is incapacitated victory is
be able to escape flying snowballs. certainly in sight.
Where to Aim Finally, these few considerations
This brings the consideration of should be noted:
. . . An extraordinary collection . .#
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across frowI the P. Bell
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Ale^Olo 4 tso %,4*A f 4* 4*A~A
1) Snow used in snowballs
hould be well packed so that it
makes an impression when it hits.
2 Snow is cold and uncomforta-
able on the human skin, so if it
hits there victory is easy.
3) Winning only means out-
asting the opponent.
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MISTLETOE HANGING-Even the girls take part in the sport.
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