Join the kissing queue

Victorian tradition of the kissing bough comes to Belsay.
Victorian tradition of the kissing bough comes to Belsay.
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A CHRISTMAS kissing queue could be forming at Belsay Hall as it brings back a loving festive tradition.

English Heritage has harked back to Victorian days to install a traditional kissing bough in the Grand Hall of the building.

The spherical, evergreen decoration is made of mistletoe, berries and ivy, and was a popular feature in times gone by.

Victorian tradition holds that unmarried maidens would spend time at Christmas parties lining up underneath the bough to await a kiss from a single man.

And now visitors to Belsay will have the chance to steal a kiss for themselves.

Events Manager for English Heritage in the North Jon Hogan said: “Belsay is the perfect place to resurrect such an endearing tradition during the season most associated with love and romance.

“Today, a sprig of mistletoe represents the long and enduring history of the kissing bough, which was one of the earliest Christmas decorations and especially popular in the Victorian era.”

The bough will be in place throughout the festive season.