Now You Know

Why do baby boys wear blue and girls wear pink?

The custom of dressing baby boys in blue clothes began around 1400.
Blue was the colour of the sky and therefore Heaven, so it was believed
that the colour warded off evil spirits. Male children were considered a
greater blessing than females, so it was assumed that demons had no
interest in girls. It was another hundred years before girls were given
red as a colour, which was later softened to pink.

Why is a handshake considered to be a gesture of friendship?

The Egyptian hieroglyph for “to give” is an extended hand. That symbol
was the inspiration for Michelangelo’s famous fresco “The Creation
of Adam,” which is found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.
Babylonian kings confirmed their authority by annually grasping the
hand of a statue of their chief god, Marduk. The handshake as we know
it today evolved from a custom of Roman soldiers, who carried daggers
in their right wristbands. They would extend and then grasp each
other’s weapon hand as a non-threatening sign of goodwill.

Where did the two-fingered peace sign come from?

The gesture of two fingers spread and raised in peace, popularized in
the 1960s, is a physical interpretation of the peace symbol, an inverted
or upside-down Y within a circle, which was designed in 1958 by
members of the anti-nuclear Direct Action Committee. The inverted
Y is a combination of the maritime semaphore signals for N and D,
which stood for “nuclear disarmament.”

Where did the rude Anglo-Saxon one-fingered salute come from?

When the outnumbered English faced the French at the Battle of
Agincourt, they were armed with a relatively new weapon, the longbow.
The French were so amused that they vowed to cut off the middle
finger of each British archer. When the longbows won the day, the
English jeered the retreating French by raising that middle finger in a
gesture that still means, among other things, “in your face.”

Why do Christians place their hands together in prayer?

The original gesture of Christian prayer was spreading the arms and
hands heavenward. There is no mention anywhere in the Bible of
joining hands in prayer, and that custom didn’t surface in the church
until the ninth century. In Roman times, a man would place his
hands together as an offer of submission that meant, “I surrender,
here are my hands ready to be bound or shackled.” Christianity
accepted the gesture as a symbol of offering total obedience, or submission,
to God.

From The Book Titled "Now You Know" by Doug Lennox