Why You Should Use a Tablecloth: Folk Beliefs

Back in the day, people used a tablecloth frequently. But nowadays this tradition is almost gone. Even older people often prefer plastic table covers that are easy to clean. The younger generation doesn’t even understand why we need a tablecloth in the first place.

I used to think that people in the past valued this element only for aesthetic reasons. But after visiting my relatives in the village, I learned about interesting old folk beliefs. Here are some of the reasons why people in the past considered the tablecloth to be an important element in the house.

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Why You Should Use a Tablecloth: Folk Beliefs

Smooth Life

People used to believe that a smooth tablecloth on a table promises a smooth life. Uncovered kitchen furniture was considered a sign of poverty. Therefore, women kept the tablecloth always at hand.

Rushing the Guests

When a woman of the house was waiting for the guests, having prepared a table full of meals, she sat and pulled the edge of the tablecloth a little. Women believed that this way the guests would come quicker.

Attracting Money

People used to believe that an uncovered table causes lack of money. That is why many put banknotes under the tablecloth. As you might guess, the more they cost, the richer the family was considered and the more money the future would bring them. What do you think about this?

God’s Gift

Even now, many believe that food is a gift from God. And back in the day, everyone thought so. Each meal was a ritual. Would you put the God’s gift on an uncovered table? Of course not. Moreover, people tried to choose the highest quality and most beautiful tablecloth to thank the Lord for another gift.

Peace in the Family

Our ancestors believed that it was a linen tablecloth that would save from disagreements in the family. Therefore, everyone tried to use this material. Effective this method or not, the thinking of people was positive after this.

Hiding a Knife

Don’t worry, nothing illegal. The hosts were not going to hurt anyone. The fact is that the food wasn’t always in abundance. And the belief was that if you put a knife under the tablecloth, the guests will be full and go home faster.

Gift From a Loved One

People used to believe that a tablecloth can only be given by a close person, a relative. After all, it is a symbol of financial well-being and a positive family environment. Young girls believed that if they took the tablecloth from their parents’ home to a new family, life with the husband and his relatives would go smoothly.

Now you know why people always used this home decoration. Of course, it’s your choice to believe us or not, but it’s not without a reason that a tablecloth had a sacred meaning. What do you use to cover the table? Share with us in the comments!


Like many people nowadays, I love to explore new places. My favorite type is slow travelling, when you can really blend in with locals and learn about new cultures and languages. But I think there are also perfect times for enjoying freshly baked pastry, a cup of fragrant coffee, and a good movie in the comfort of your own home. I guess I'm kind of a cultural omnivore, and I watch different types of movies, but the ones about art and food inspire me the most!

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