Why Is It Said That Dishes Break, Fortunately?

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Why Is It Said That Dishes Break, Fortunately?
Why Is It Said That Dishes Break, Fortunately?

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Modern man is at the mercy of superstition and will accept no less than his distant ancestors. Even those who do not believe in omens, at least know about the unfortunate black cat or the "unlucky" days of the week. One of the most famous signs is dishes that supposedly break, fortunately.

Why is it said that dishes break, fortunately?
Why is it said that dishes break, fortunately?

Not everything is clear about breakable dishes. For example, if a plate breaks in a new house, this may mean that the new settlers did not like the housekeeper and they should not expect happiness in the new place. But more often they talk about a happy omen, and at weddings they even specially break glasses for happiness.

Household explanations

A simple interpretation of the omen was suggested by the well-known researcher of the Russian language and folklore V.I. Dahl: This sign is a way to avoid awkwardness, especially if a plate or a cup is broken by a guest during a feast. The hostess will not be upset, and the guest will not be ashamed.

Perhaps the sign is connected with the fact that the dishes in the peasant houses were made of wood. A porcelain plate that could be broken was considered a luxury item, so it seemed that plates only break in happy, wealthy homes.

All these explanations seem logical, but such reasons are not enough for the occurrence of signs of such reasons. The roots of any superstition lie in mythological thinking.

Legacy of antiquity

Returning to the custom of breaking glasses at a wedding, it should be noted that once not glass glasses were used for this purpose, but an earthen pot that had just been removed from the fire. This is already an important detail, because fire has always been considered a sacred substance. The sacrificial food was, as it were, passed on to the gods, burning in the fire.

The image of the fire sacrifice becomes even clearer if we remember that the pot was not just broken, but at the same time they said: "How many shards - so many sons!" In fact, this is a spell, a person's appeal to spirits or gods.

So, initially, breaking dishes for happiness is a sacrifice that accompanies an appeal to the pagan gods with some kind of request. But why did you have to break the pot?

The very first gods of ancient people were the ancestors, and initially all the deceased members of the genus. The first sacrifices are all that were given with them to a person who went to the afterlife. It is noteworthy that the tools of labor in the ancient burials are broken, and the clay bowls are broken. This has its own logic: in order for the deceased to take things with him to the other world, they must also “die”.

This is how the breaking of dishes turned into a sacrifice, which, according to the thought of the ancient man, was supposed to provide him with the favor of the spirits and gods, and therefore happiness. The expectation of happiness from an accidentally broken plate in later times is a splinter, a distant echo of these pagan ideas.

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