You may have seen at the launch of a ship the tradition of breaking a bottle of wine on the ships bow. Why does this happen? For the past 5,000 years, as human beings have explored the waters of the world, they offered libations to the gods for protection on their journeys. This offering has been in the form of animal or human sacrifice, food, treasured goods, and also wine. Today the tradition lives on in the form of breaking a bottle of bubbly wine on the ship to christen the beginning of its many ventures. Wine is deeply connected to this ritual that both assuages our fear of death while celebrating the accomplishments of life.