Countries with the Most Unique Toasting Practices
What countries have the most unique toasting traditions?
- South Korea
- Czech Republic
Although the exact origin of toasting is heavily argued, saying “cheers” is a universal celebration of drinking that is practiced with its own specific cultural all around the world. People from diverse backgrounds partake in particular rituals before consuming alcohol together. This is evident in almost every culture, even for liquors here in the Philippines.
The simple act of raising glasses is a meaningful symbol of celebrating and emphasizing a sense of togetherness when sharing a beverage. Besides the signature Filipino traditional toast of yelling “Tagay!”, there are many special ways of saying “cheers”.
Let’s explore some of the most interesting toasting practices done all around the world:
Although Koreans are definitely known for partying hard, the culture still has many formalities when it comes to toasting customs. Korean toasting practices may not be as complex as those of the Chinese’, but they still come with quite a number of steps before you can actually take a sip.
Once the toasting begins, you have to be careful to not pour the drink from your own glass. In Korean culture, it is a continued tradition to let your friends pour the beverage for you and for you to do the same for them. The second rule mainly applies to younger toasters: once your drink is poured, you must redirect your gaze away from a highly esteemed elder out of respect.
The final basic rule of Korean toasting is to make sure you hold your glass with both hands as you verbally declare “gun bae” or “cheers” before finally taking a sip.
The Cultures of Britain
The land of Great Britain has been known as the birthing grounds for pubs and hence, pub culture. The British exercise somewhat stern toasting traditions. One of the oldest British sayings is “A friend’s eye is a good mirror”.
When toasting in Great Britain, maintaining eye contact with your company is required as you celebrate in cheers. This practice encourages the spirit of reflecting on your own love and actions as you celebrate with your fellow drinkers. Another element of customary British toasting that is very common is for toasts to be made while sitting down, which is very opposite from what other cultures have. That is, in others, people must be standing up when they deliver toasts.
The Myths of the Czech Republic
In Czech culture, there is a saying that once you break eye contact amidst the clinking of glasses, you will get cursed with seven years of bad luck, specifically in the bedroom. But besides this, there are also many other toasting traditions that are still widely practiced by the people of the Czech Republic. In this culture, the first toast is always a salute to everyone’s health. The phrase “Na zdravy!” is often heard in bars because it literally translates to “To your health!”
Another quirky toasting practice is to always be careful to avoid spilling any drop of wine from your glass as well as to be careful to avoid crossing arms with any of your drinking companions as you toast. But it’s also important to note that in Czech culture, these practices are only executed with the first and initial drink of the evening.
An authentic Brazilian toast is incredibly simple in customary background and nature. There are only two basic traditions that have to be followed; both are quite easy to remember as well as execute.
The initial rule of Brazilian toasting is to always start by filling all glasses with drinks from the same bottle. Brazilians believe that drinking from one bottle results in cooler drinks, so they tend to finish one before having another.
As you toast and clink glasses with your friends, you say “Saúde!”, which essentially means “health”, then you are required to immediately take a sip because it is culturally seen as offensive otherwise.
As mentioned earlier, Chinese toasting traditions are similar to those of Koreans’ in terms of weight in formality. Most often, this is being practiced during formal occasions. For instance, in dinner parties celebrating a guest of honor, the host will begin the celebration by toasting to that person; he or she will later on respond with another toast for the host.
Aside from this, they also practice the etiquette of touching their drink below the rim of the other person’s glass as a sign of respect. They would then chant “Gan Bei!” which means “Bottoms up!” or “Kai Pay!” which means “Drain your glass!”
Regardless of alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages, toasting is one of the most common of human practices evident in every culture.
When it comes to getting together and having fun with friends over some of the best liquors in the Philippines, you can inject an extra layer of festivities for your gatherings by partaking in some of the good-natured celebratory toasts done all across the world!