Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sneezing Myths

“Bless You”
Throughout most of everyone’s lives we have learned to say some sort of saying after a person sneezes. “God bless you” or “Bless you” is the most common expression that I grew up using. We use this expression without knowing the true meaning behind it or the history that backs it up. This expression has many different meanings to it according to folklore and superstitions. While keeping your eyes open during a sneeze or holding your nose and mouth during a sneeze will not kill you, not blessing someone might kill them.
In Roman times people believed that a sneeze could release your soul to the world. To bless your sneeze was to offer a blessing to your soul to release your soul instead of holding it in in some sort of internal struggle. In another story, sneezing was used to bless the sneezer during the time of the Black Death Plague in 1348 AD. Sneezing during this time became a sign of the sick and infected and saying “God Bless You” became customary law to all. Blessing the sneeze would also be an attempt to stop the spread of the plague. This doesn’t seem that far-fetched since sneezing can send thousands of tiny particles into the air at up to 100 miles per hour.
There may be a couple of different superstitions and myths that people may hear about the reasons to bless someone after sneezing. We may not ever know the complete truth, but only the stories that have been passed down from generation to generation will keep us guessing as to where this saying has come from. Believe what you would like, but I am somewhat superstitious and will keep on saying “God Bless You” for as long as I live.


  1. I found it interesting to why people started to say "bless you" or "God bless you" after someone sneezed because they wanted to bless the soul that they thought escaped. I always say "bless you" to people after they sneeze, and I too will continue to say it for the rest of my life too.

  2. It's interesting how the purpose of saying "bless you" or "God bless you" has changed so much. People nowadays usually only say it out of manors. I was always told that people said it because when someone sneezes, their heart stops for a second. I don't know if thats true but it's nice to hear about the other beliefs behind this.