Bread and Salt


Armenians, like many other peoples, have worshipped tillage and bread since time immemorial. When important guests came to their house they were greeted with bread and salt, the simplest gifts without which human life was impossible.

 

Armenians believed bread to be the main decoration of any table and called it “the king of any feast”. Therefore, the work of a baker in Armenia has always been one of the most honoured and respected professions. Bread was revered almost as a living creature: it could not be turned over upside down; it could not be dropped or be left lying on the ground. Those truths, unwritten in any law, were indisputable. Here is why…

 

One ancient Armenian legend tells us that when a piece of bread falls to the ground, an angel comes down from heaven. He sets one foot on top of that piece, so it is not stepped on and thus defiled. The angel keeps that piece of bread under his foot for as long as that piece stays on the ground. Therefore, every piece of bread, every tiny breadcrumb that lies on the ground has an angel guarding it. That is why people should come to the aid of those angels, pick up the piece of bread, and place it well above ground.

 

The explanation for such reverence is simple. It is a sin to drop bread to the ground, as that bread was born in the flames of a bakery, and by those flames, it was cleansed and thus sanctified. Bread only has one purpose – to satiate a person and make that person steadier, stronger and kinder.

 

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