Naval Baptism with Champagne

Why do we baptize ships with a bottle of Champagne ? Do you know the answer ? Well, it’s common to baptize babies with Champagne or Jurançon like our King Henri IV. But it’s also a tradition to break a bottle on the boat’s shells before its launch or just after… The tradition is so important that sailors are finding normal the Titanic accident because the White Star Line, owner of the ship, wasn’t baptizing its liners. 

A ship which has not taste wine, will taste blood.” English Proverb

Des bulles et des bulles de Champagne

Sailors are supersticious. It’s quite normal back in the time : expeditions were highly dangerous. GPS and distress rockets weren’t existing yet. It was the tradition to spread blood on the decks in order to fight against the curse : byebye storms, mermaids and shipwrecks. Blood has been replaced by wine progressively…    

Ships baptisms with Champagne are a French tradition created during the XVIII century. Champagne is the symbol of luck and celebration. As soon as the bottle breaks, the Champagne foam spreads on the shell and is like the meerschaum… Symbolism…

In order to avoid dramatic incidents, the Champagne bottles are ballasted with lead. They are laid down by nice ladies in general and they have to break immediately. If sadly, the bottle doesn’t break at first, a second bottle is thrown on the boat. For example : the Costa Concordia has been baptized but the bottle didn’t break and there was no more bottle. The sailors are telling that the shipwreck is not a coincidence.     

Then, even if it’s only a small boat, Champagne has to flow freely. Now, don’t tell me you weren’t aware about this tradition and be safe on board !! 

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