Does bread upside down at the table bring bad luck? All about the sideboard

Bread turned upside down at the table brings bad luck: an ancient tradition or a superstition to dispel? Let’s see together the saying and the origins of the belief.

Have you ever been scolded for placing a loaf of bread incorrectly on the table? Did you know that bread upside down at the table brings bad luck? If they are also passed down in your family beliefs and traditions, then we are not telling you anything new, otherwise we will be happy to explore this saying (or superstition) together. Where does the belief come from? What does he say, but above all… would it be better to believe it?!?

Flipped bread
Flipped bread

What does the belief about upside down bread at the table say?

Placing bread upside down on the table is said to bring great bad luck and is considered a sign of contemptall this according to tradition (Christian in the broadest sense and also among the families of neighboring France).

This action is seen as one disrespect towards the other diners. Not only should a piece of bread not be placed upside down, but neither should one offer it upside down to someone else. Grandparents (and great grandparents) are the custodians of these sayings, which are now being lost in more and more homes in our beautiful country.

Of course, this is only a superstition without any scientific basis. But do you know where the belief comes from?

Origins: because upside down bread brings bad luck

This superstition has two possible origins: one of a religious nature and the other of a historical nature. The religious explanation is rather intuitive: since bread is considered the “Body of Christ” in the Christian tradition, offering it upside down would be considered blasphemous. The historical explanation, on the other hand, takes us directly to the Medieval Francewhen the bakers had devised an unwritten rule that everyone knew as “the executioner’s bread”.

The history of this tradition begins in mid 1400s in France, thanks to Charles VII. Under his reign the death penalty was widespread and the king carried out a significant campaign of executioner recruitment who were immediately despised by the other citizens. This feeling of contempt was manifested by the bakers preparing a poor quality bread specially for the executioners. To protect his workforce, Charles VII issued a decree calling on bakers to treat all customers equally and threatening that if they did not accept the executioner as a customer, they themselves would become customers of the executioner.

The bakers reluctantly accepted the decree, but in sign of protest they offered the bread upside down to the executioner. To resolve this situation, the monarch came up with an ingenious solution that would go down in history: the executioners would perform their duties wearing a hood not to be recognized.

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