Monday, December 22, 2014

Why Do We Clink Glasses?

Few dinners, celebrations, weddings or parties go without toasts and the clinking of glasses. But, do you know how this ritual was created and what it actually means?

One legend says that in the Middle Ages people were clinking glasses in order to expel demons. Germans of previous generatios clinked glasses to scare ghosts, and in Tibet there was also a custom of “creating noise” by clinking glasses before drinking but, for them it was for good luck and prosperity.

In ancient Greece, the sound has also had an important role in drinking wine, but the reason was their belief that wine brings spirituality and beauty for all the senses, so in addition to taste, color and odor, by clinking glasses, they were creating a sensation for ears too.

However, there is a much more realistic theory associated with this custom. Namely, in the medieval courts in Europe, the enemies were mainly "removed" by poisoning - pouring poison in the wine. Over time, word for this "method" became known, so guests at the courts became distrustful of any offered drinks. The solution was found in hitting (clinking) glasses during which, thanks to the force of impact, part of the fluid from one glass would mixed with the liquid in the second glass as a guarantee that the host did not have evil intentions towards his guests and that he respected them.

Today, clinking glasses usually means joy and happiness, and in some countries the expression of respect.

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