Why Do We Say “god Bless You” after a Sneeze?
Why Do We Say “god Bless You” after a Sneeze? There are many explanations for the custom of saying “God bless you” when someone sneezes. The saying probably has to do with superstition. Primitive people believed that a person’s breath contained his or her spirit, or soul, and that a sneeze might accidentally expel the person’s soul.
Therefore, a wish was spoken for God to bless that person and prevent the soul from escaping.
It was also believed that sneezing was the way for the body to rid itself of the devil’s evil influences. The act of blessing a person subsequent to a sneeze was meant to act as a safeguard against the devil’s evil influences returning.
However, if the sneezer should thank the blesser for the blessing it was thought to invite the devil with all his evil influences to re-enter the body.
Sneezing has almost everywhere been regarded as an omen of some kind. Italians, to turn it into a good omen, say “Felicita” (blessing, or good luck). Germans say “Gesundheit” (your health).