[Naval Traditions] Baptism of the Ship


Naval Traditions. Baptism of the ship Sailors are superstitious people and there have always been
many different rituals and traditions in the Navy. The baptism of a ship
is one such tradition. Now, when launching a ship on the water, a bottle of champagne
is smashed on its side, but this wasn’t always how
a launching ceremony was celebrated. Severe Nordic seafarers, or the Vikings,
were usually extremely uncompromising when it came
to their warships—the drakkars. As a sacrifice to the gods,
they put captives under the keel. A so-so tradition, isn’t it? In other cultures, people were gentler and used large and small
domestic livestock as a sacrifice, which they simply threw overboard. The poor animals
were saved by Christianity, which abolished the barbaric ritual, transforming
the bloody sacrifice into a humane, and symbolic baptism by red wine. In the 15-16th centuries, in England, the launching of a ship
was almost a national holiday, at which the top officials
of the state were present. The most important bishop
often performed the ceremony. It was a huge party. Kings established a rule, after toasting for the new ship
they threw a gold bowl overboard, with the crowds cheering on in support. By the 17th century,
the monarchs stopped throwing away their dinnerware and precious metals. And at that time the tradition of smashing
a bottle of champagne on the ship’s side appeared in France At the beginning of the 19th century, women started
to get engaged during the ritual, usually they were
noble and respected ladies, At the same time, the lady who smashed the bottle
became the godmother of the ship. There is a case where one Greek steamer was baptized by a three-year-old girl, the shipowner’s daughter. She is the youngest godmother to date. The 20th century was the century
of experiments and variations of this rite For example, fish oil
was poured on trawlers, and a block of ice or bottle
of water taken from the Arctic Ocean was broken over an icebreaker’s side. One Dane baptized his ship
for fruit transportation with orange juice. Various mechanisms
for smashing were invented. One of them looked like a Roman ballista. There was a case
where the bottle was smashed by radio— a signal about
the launched ship was transmitted from Australia
to England using a telephone. But the bottle didn’t always break… It is believed that an unbroken
bottle promises misfortune for the ship. To avoid this,
the bottom—not the neck—was notched, thus helping sailors make their own luck. After all, sailors
are not only superstitious, but also as sharp as a tack. Nevertheless, you will
discover more in the next episode…

10 thoughts on “[Naval Traditions] Baptism of the Ship

  1. It's supposed to not throw something in a bottle supposed to drink from a drink not spot the frog chef anyways I like to my first shipping it's yamato WW2 does shiver what's a Japan it's actually the most power battleship ever The turret is really strong actually penetrate one hit in actually sink and also the yamato I have a bad or whole plane soggy easier the lunch I can mini plane I have a lot of space in a room like that or a carrier mate plane so that's my favourite shift lever the yamato WW2

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