The party season is upon us. Shortly there would be New Years, followed in quick succession with Easter and between there are going to be more than a few weddings as well. In other words, there are going to be a lot of speeches, and there are going to be a lot of toasts. Milestones, achievements and celebrations with wine glasses raised and clinks. However have you ever wondered why we raise a glass of alcohol after and during speeches? Apparently giving toasts has been the thing to do at celebrations for hundreds of years. Ancient cultures from Persia, Egypt, China has documented toasts that have been around for literally thousands of years.
So Why Did We Start Toasting?
There are many ideas where toasting started including:
- A toast to drive away evil spirits
- Toasting by clinking your glass hard so that you can see if your drink has poison.
- A way of friendship as originally many communities drank from 1 cup. Over the years as people had their cups a good clink made everyone feel good and together again.
- To make a whole lot of noise to create a party atmosphere
These are just some of the theories as to why toasting was started. Realistically I think all four theories do hold water (pun intended :)). Regardless though, all four theories are all positive ways as to why we should be merry this upcoming festive season.
Origins of the word Toast!
Well, Toast is an English word of course, and in the 17th century, a piece of bread baked with spices was a popular way to flavour beverages. That piece of bread was called a toast of course. So over the years the word Toast just stuck with the tradition of clinking glasses together and we now simply refer to that act as toast!
Why Call it a Toast?
Starting in the 17th century, a piece of spiced bread was added to drinks to boost flavour. Unsurprisingly, that little piece of bread was called toast, although anything thrown into a glass was given the moniker.
Excerpts of the article on Toasting first seen on http://mentalfloss.com
Article Updated 23/01/18: New image added, headers added, text updated.