Did you know?

  • The Romans were famous builders of salt pans and special quantaties of salt, sal in Latin, which generations of Roman legionaries received in little bags as part of their pay, were known as salarium argentumor "salt money". Over the centuries the name of this form of payment gave rise to the English word "salary".
  • Salt was also important for the discovery of new continents, since it enabled seafarers to take sufficient quantities of food - preserved in salt - on long voyages. They also traded it with natives for other goods.
  • Rulers very quickly realised that since salt was essential for everybody, it could be an important regular source of income. They therefore introduced taxes and other forms of duty on salt. The first example of this was in China, 2200 years before Christ. This is also believed to be one of the first taxes in human history.
  • In France, the right to tax salt was exploited to such an extent that it contributed, along with a salt shortage in 1789, to the outbreak of the French Revolution.
  • When the Old Romans wanted to pay respect to certain someone, they have sitted them closer to the salt on the table. The closer the person was sitting to the salt the more important he or she was.
  • In Scotland salt is treated as a spell. When a person moved into a new house, salt had to be the first moving thing, crossing the doorstep. Usually it was sprinkled across the Bible and brought into the house.
  • The Greeks worshiped the salt as the god of sun. As old Romans they had a saying that you can't trust a stranger until you have eaten salt with them. The lesson behind that saying was, that you had to share salt in order to build mutual trust.
  • Old norwegian superstition says that a person that scatters salt has to pour out so many tears, so that these melt the scatterd salt.
  • A grain of scatterd salt means a tear in the future, is what an English superstition says.
  • The Germans believe that when someone strews salt this causes hatred because this should be a direct act of the devil, who is disturbing peace.
  • The French throw a pinch of salt across their back in order to hit the devil in the eye and avoid their next misfortune.
  • If salt scatters in the United States of America, the person throws a pinch of salt across his left shoulder and he or she crawls below the table and comes out on the other side.
  • Shubatsu, a cleansing ritual performed by sprinkling salt, is an integral part of the Shinto religion. A significant and visible form of this ritual is when sumo wrestlers sprinkle salt around the fighting ring before a match, to purify the area.

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