Everyone is well settled in their place, around the table, with a glass in their hand, when someone gets up and announces that they want to "Make a toast". He raises a toast to someone's health, inviting his guests to do the same. But where does this tradition come from? Why does toasting mean celebration and joy? Les Grappes invites you to raise your glasses!
To raise a glass to someone, or to drink to someone's health is a tradition that dates back to antiquity. Indeed it was frequent to honour the Gods through wine, to drink by celebrating the Gods. Also, it is customary to drink to the health of mortals, who are then placed under the protection of these same Gods. We then think of the ovations given to guests, warriors and heroes at the opening of banquets.
It is therefore a gesture motivated by recognition, gratitude and conviviality: the shared moment becomes a moment that is dedicated to the same person, or even several.
Although the word "toast" refers to English, the term originates in France. Indeed, the custom dates back to the 17th-18th centuries: in Ancient French, the word "toste" referred to a slice of toasted bread dipped in wine that was drunk when celebrating someone.
It was mostly about drinking to a woman's health. Indeed, the expression was "toster a lady" when drinking to her health. When a man was in love with a woman, he invited his companions to drink a glass of wine in which a toste was soaked. Everyone drank in turn, leaving the last sip to the lover! He could then taste the toste soaked in wine, while thinking of his beautiful.
The expression has been extended and modified since 1700 and is now reserved only for women. Since then, it has been said "to make a toast".
Also, the English adopted the term "toste" to refer to the slice of toast.
The expression and gesture testify to the will to celebrate someone, to give them a privileged moment during festive gatherings.
There is the art and way of making a toast, especially since it is a time to speak before an assembly.
According to the conventions, when making a toast, you should thank those present, explain to whom you are toasting and the reasons for doing so. Finally, you must invite others to stand up and raise their glasses, while the person being celebrated, if present in the room, must remain seated. Finally, make your toast by saying the person's name and enjoy the contents of your glass.
However, the tradition is not only French, we invite you to discover how toast is made in other countries. In Scandinavia, it is necessary to wait for the first "skäl" (toast) to drink: this is done by the host. When the latter has toasted, everyone can indulge in the tradition by raising their glass halfway up.
In China, it is customary for everyone to invite a toast. So when everyone, in the order of the hierarchy, has raised a toast to the health of the other, we drink the ass-drink!
Marie Lecrosnier-Wittkowsky (for Les Grappes)