Such ceremonies at the commissioning of new ships were already in the 4th century BC. In Mesopotamia common. Also among the Greeks and Romans in the antiquity there were already boat baptisms. In Japan and China, a leash connecting the ship with the land is torn at launch - similar to the severing of the umbilical cord in the birth of a human being. Elsewhere, wine was simply poured over the planks, but many other sometimes cruel rituals such as human sacrifice were common.
The naval baptism has an important symbolic meaning and the renunciation is interpreted as a bad sign in the superstitious sea people. As a "proof" for it is pointed out that the on April 15, 1912 sunken after an iceberg collision Titanic, which had been considered unsinkable, was allegedly not baptized (there was indeed a baptism). Also air and spaceships are baptized. Even the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701B) from the TV series "Star Trek" became ceremonial with a futuristic one Dom Perignon of the vintage 2265 subjected to this ritual.
After an order of Kaiser Wilhelm I. (1797-1888) the warships of the German Navy were allowed only with one Söhnlein champagne to be baptized. As a result, this brand became the standard baptismal sect at the end of the 19th century. The baptism of the yacht "Meteor" of his grandson Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) resulted in 1902 in New York a curious story. It was provided by the imperial owner that a bottle of German sparkling wine should be used by the US presidential daughter Alice Roosevelt. The resourceful representative of the house Moët et Chandon in the USA, however, it was possible to exchange the champagne with a bottle of his company, contrary to the planning. At the feast, champagne was served instead of champagne, whereupon the dizziness flew open. This caused a scandal of a larger scale. The emperor recalled his ambassador from France, and there was a huge political saber-rattling between Germany and France.
In modern times, a bottle is usually used for baptism champagne or sparkling wine on the ship's wall shatters. It is preferred outsize as Magnum (1.5 l), Jeroboam (3 l) or Rehoboam (4.5 l) used. As preparation, the thick glass of the bottle is sometimes prepared by scratching and even practicing the ceremony before some baptisms. For large ships, preferably a lady hacks (gentlemen were not wanted until the 19th century) with a hatchet a leash, whereby the bottle is released on another leash for flight against the ship's bow. For small ships or boats, the champagne is also thrown on a leash directly to the bow. Rarely, the bottle is even shattered by hand on the bow. However, this procedure can be very dangerous for both Baptist and the ship.
Even after the renaming of a ship, a new baptism must take place. But first there is a ceremonial farewell. After the removal of the old ship's name from bow, stern, lifebuys, lifeboats, etc. becomes one bottle Champagne poured over the ship's planks. See below Customs in viticulture a list of rituals, festivities and curious habits "around the wine".