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Why do people eat only with spoons and no forks at wakes: an explanation

The superstitious tradition has a logical explanation. Source: Created with the help of AI

People have a tradition of putting only spoons on the table at a memorial dinner. Forks are usually not used during the meal. Knives are also absent from the table setting.

OBOZ.UA asked where this tradition could have come from. As always, there are several explanations - esoteric and more practical. Let's consider both.

Esoteric explanation

Cutlery has long been associated with a lot of superstitions. For example, after the appearance of forks in the everyday life of ordinary people, they began to be associated with pitchforks used by devils. Although the object itself became commonplace, people preferred not to use it at the wake, so as not to harm the soul of the deceased and not to attract the attention of evil spirits.

Knives are not used at funerals because of the belief that the soul can slip on the blade and go straight to hell. From this point of view, a spoon seems safer.

A practical explanation

Although the wake is essentially a ritual of commemoration of a deceased person, in reality, drunken relatives often start discussing the division of inheritance during dinner. This is a sensitive issue that often leads to conflicts. If the participants have forks or knives at hand, it can result in stabbing and cutting injuries to each other. A spoon can only inflict a few tangible blows.

Ethnographers also associate the tradition of using only spoons during a memorial meal with dishes that were customary to be served on the table. For example, it is inconvenient to eat kutia, or kolivo, with a fork. It is distributed and consumed with a spoon. The rest of the traditional dishes for the funeral can usually be broken and eaten with your hands, so forks were not used at first because they were unnecessary, and then it became a tradition and was overgrown with various esoteric explanations.

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