Why do we toast?

Two hypothesis, an ancient one and a more recent one, seem to well explain this habit

To toast in the Middle Ages

An Ancient Explanation

In the first case, it would seem that this custom dates back to the Middle Ages, at a time when wars and conspiracies were rife. Basically, it was a time when everyone was suspicious of everyone! As murders by poisoning were particularly common, great lords had the habit of toasting during their meetings, so to mix up the content of each glass, proving that the liquids were not poisoned.

Why do we toast? Let's find out now!

A Modern Explanation

The most modern explanation says that toasting allows us to wake up all five senses. Indeed, during a tasting, senses are widely sought. First observations are relative to the colour of the beverage that makes a call to the eye, followed by the touch due to contact with the glass. The smell then takes over and, of course, taste follows. Only one of the five senses is missing: hearing. Clinking glasses would aim to solicit the last sense, all in harmony. 



In French: "Santé"

In German: "Prost"

In Italian: "Salute"

In Spanish: "Salud"

In Portugal: "Saúde"

In Greek: "ΥΓΕΙΑ" (reed Yamas)

In Sweden and Norway: "Skål" (read Skawl)

In Finland: "Kippis"

In Russia: "Na zdrovie"

In Japanese: "Kampai" 乾杯

In Korean: "Gun bae" 건배

In Hawaiian: "Å’kålè ma’luna" (read Okole maluna)