CHAMPAGNE CHRISTENING


The custom of breaking a bottle of wine over a ship’s bow as it is being launched dates back to the late 17th century, champagne replacing wine in more modern times.

Initially the Navy ‘baptized’ their ships with a ‘standing cup’ of precious metal, which was “afterwords” thrown overboard, but with the increased production of ships as the British Empire spread across the world that became too expensive, so the cup was dispensed with and the bottle allowed to swing against the bow and break instead.

Inevitably superstitions grew up around this ceremony, reinforced in 1911 when the Titanic was launched for the White Star Line. Lord Pirrie, Chairman of Harland & Wolff, simply gave an order to the launch foreman to let the ship slide into the water. There was no formal naming ceremony, and no bottle of champagne was broken over her bows, so Titanic was never christened. The story of her short life is well known…

Champagne Bollinger

Advertisements

~ by Liz Palmer on August 17, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: