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Posted by on Jan 9, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do We Say “God Bless You” When Someone Sneezes?

Why Do We Say “God Bless You” When Someone Sneezes?

Sometimes people say “God bless you” when another person sneezes. There are many explanations for this old custom. One popular idea is that it has to do with superstition.

Early people believed that a sneeze might accidentally expel a person’s spirit or soul, unless God prevented it. “God bless you” was an appeal to God not to let this happen.

Sneezing has almost everywhere been regarded as an omen of some kind. The Italians, to turn it into a good omen, say “felicita,” which means “happiness,” or “good luck.” The Germans say “gesundheit,” which means “your health.”

Content for this question contributed by Alesia Keller, resident of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, USA