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The tradition of christening ships goes back centuries. Maritime civilizations back then would proclaim the name of their vessels to their Gods in hopes of bringing them good luck and safe travels.
In order to christen a ship, a type of fluid must be poured across its bow before it enters the water. Wine bottles were used initially, but champagne has become the norm across Western nations for its “aristocratic appeal” and signature “pop.”
In the US Navy, it’s always a woman who’s honored with sponsoring a ship – perhaps a nod to the ancient goddesses who would protect the sailors in ancient times.
So far, it seems to be working well. White Star Line, the company that built the Titanic, didn’t christen any of their ships with champagne.