Why Do We Say God Bless You! After a Sneeze?

Ancient man believed that his breath contained his spirit, or his soul, and that it lived in his head. Therefore, when he sneezed, he feared that he was losing his soul and leaving an empty place in his head for evil spirits to enter. All this would happen unless God prevented it. Thus, a wish was spoken for God to bless that person.

Other early people believed that evil spirits, which had already entered the body, jumped out on a sneeze and entered other people’s bodies.

Today, we know that a sneeze can be harmful to other people, but not because of evil spirits, but rather because of the harmful bacteria that travel in the droplets of moisture expelled in a sneeze, bacteria which can spread colds, flu, and other diseases.

The droplets of moisture in a sneeze travel at a rate of 150 feet a second and can land as far as 12 feet away!