why do we clink glasses when we say cheers
Claim: The ritual of clinking glasses evolved from efforts to prove that the drinks contained therein were not poisoned. Examples: [Collected via e-mail, March 2007]
Origins: Many explanations have been advanced to explain our custom of clinking glasses when participating in toasts. One is that early Europeans felt the sound helped to drive off evil spirits. Another holds that by clanking the glasses into one another, wine could be sloshed from glass to glass, thereby serving as a proof the beverages had not been poisoned. Yet another claim asserts that the "clink" served as a symbolic acknowledgment of trust among imbibers who did not feel the need to sample each others' drinks to prove them unadulterated. Each of those explanations is false. While making a racket for the purpose of scaring off evil spirits underpins other customs that carry over to this day (e. g. , the of church bells at weddings, and the loud shouts and at the stroke of twelve on New Year's Eve), the "clink" is a relatively new aspect of toasting and, as such, came along well after folks had relinquished the notion that demons both lurked in every corner of typical day-to-day existence and could be sped on their way by a bit of noise. As for sloshing wine from one glass to another, drinking vessels would need to be filled to the brim to effect that, and if they were, such practice would waste valuable potables (because some would be sure to land on the floor) and likely douse the toasters too. And while the poisoning of enemies has long been part of the ordinary mayhem of the world, the practice of touching of one's filled glass to those of others when participating in a toast is unrelated to suspicion of the wine's having been tampered with; such killings were not so common at any nebulous point in the past that a signal to one's host indicating he was clear of suspicion of attempted murder needed to be enshrined in the canon of social gestures. To get at the real reason for the clink of glass on glass, we have to first look at why and how we toast, and where the practice originated. The custom of sealing with booze expressions of good wishes for the health of others dates back so far that its origins are now lost to us, yet in numerous cultures such acts of camaraderie often involved shared drinking vessels.
The clinking of individual cups or glasses as a proof of trust wouldn't have meant much when everyone drank from the same bowl. Indeed, in those cultures where shared drinking containers was the norm, to produce one's own vessel in such company was to communicate an unmistakable message of hostility and distrust; it would have been regarded as akin to bringing along a food taster to sample the repast. "Toasting," our term for the pronouncement of benedictions followed by a swallowing of alcohol, is believed to have taken its name from a practice involving a shared drinking vessel. Floated in the "loving cup" passed among celebrants in Britain was a piece of (spiced) cooked bread that the host would consume along with the last few drops of liquid after the cup had made one round of the company. In modern times toasting has become a matter of imbibing from individual drinking vessels rather than from one shared flagon, so to compensate for the sense of unity lost in doing away with the sharing of the same cup we have evolved the practice of simultaneously drinking each from our own glass when a toast is made, thereby maintaining a communal connection to the kind words being spoken. The clinking of glasses has been added to the practice of offering toasts for a few reasons, none having anything to do with poison. Prior to such augmentation, toasts pleased only four of the five senses; by adding the "clink," a pleasant sound was made part of the experience, and wine glasses have come to be prized not only for their appearance but also for the tones they produce when struck. Yet beyond mere aural pleasure, the act of touching your glass to that of others is a way of emphasizing that you are part of the good wishes being expressed, that you are making a physical connection to the toast. The practice also serves another purpose, that of uniting the individuals taking part in the benediction into a cohesive group: as the wine glasses are brought together, so symbolically are the people holding them.
On a deeper level, the wine is also being recommuned with which had been one (when it had been in its own bottle) but was separated (when it was poured into a variety of glasses) is brought back into contact with the whole of itself, if only for a moment. Etiquette mavens say one need not clink glasses with everyone present when participating in toasts among large assemblies. Rather than reach across vast expanses of wide tables (thereby risking losing your balance and ending up in the guacamole), simply raise your glass and make eye contact with the group. Last updated: Brewster, Katherine. "A Toast to Toasts! " [Cleveland] Plain Dealer. 29 December 1993 (Food; p. E1). Marquardt, Tom and Patric Darr. "Accept Your Chance to Toast. " The [Annapolis] Capital. 22 December 2004 (p. D1). Mitchell, Mary. "Here's to You! (Clink) and You! (Clink) and You! " The Seattle Times. 9 September 2006 (p. I6). Okun, Janice. "Here's to Ya. " Buffalo News. 1 January 2003 (p. D1). Visser, Margaret. The Rituals of Dinner. New York: Grove Weidenfeld, 1991. ISBN 0-140-17079-0 (p. 215). It is considered rude in almost all cultures to start having a drink before clinking and saying 'cheers'! Of course in present times, this ritual comes to everyone automatically, but one would be inclined to think, being good-mannered was the only reason behind following this custom. However, there's a twist to this tale, and things are actually not as straightforward as they seem. From what little is known about clinking glasses and cheering, is that, this tradition has been practiced since centuries, and has some bizarre theories and explanations to put forth. That being said, it is up to you to decide whether to believe in these tales or not. So the next time you clink your glass for a toast, remember to wait for the host to drink first, see if he's alive, put a piece of toast in your glass for more flavor, pour some of your wine into your partner's glass, hail to the Lords above, and finally, shoo off some pesky demons, before you take the first sip. Cheers!
- Autor: Roto2
- Comments: 0
- Views: 0