Description: Placing a hand in front of your mouth when sneezing prevents the devil from entering your body.
Origin: Medieval Europe
Some superstitions hold that sneezes are a type of 'little death' when the soul momentarily leaves the body, and it was feared that while you were out, the devil or evil spirits could get in. From this arose the modern tradition of saying 'God Bless You' (or the German 'Gesundheit') when someone sneezes, as a further protection against evil. In the Middle Ages a mere sneeze could be a sign of the Black Plague, so it was though wise to be careful.
In Scotland, a newborn child was said to remain under 'the fairy spells' until it sneezed for the first time. It was also said that an idiot could not sneeze, so a child's first sneeze was an important indicator.
SNEEZE BABY SNEEZE
Note: These superstitions
were researched and written by Stuart Macfarlane (Website:
and Tom Metcalfe (Website:
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