Beneath the clinking glasses and toasts lurk many superstitions believed to safeguard against misfortune. Explore some intriguing drinking traditions worldwide that weave superstitions into the fabric of social conventions.
February 02, 2024
In Western European cultures, maintaining eye contact while toasting is crucial. Avert your gaze before clinking glasses and taking a sip, and risk facing the consequence of seven years of bad sex.
Sailors, fearing a "watery grave," avoid toasting with water, linking the sound of clinking glasses to waking the ghosts of the drowned or summoning mythical sea creatures like the Kraken.
Maritime traditions involve tossing the first toast into the water to honour the god of the sea. In the Philippines, pouring a drink on the ground keeps the devil at bay.
In Japan, it's considered bad luck to pour your own sake. Wait for your host to pour your drink; never pass a cup of sake directly from one hand to another.
Ancient Germanic traditions saw people knocking on oak tables while drinking to announce they weren't disguised as the devil, a practice to prevent the devil from joining the gathering.
Mexican superstition advises clinking glasses three times to ward off evil spirits. In Irish tradition, avoid crossing arms while toasting, as it's believed to block positive energy.
In Korean culture, accepting a drink from an elder is a sign of respect and must be done using both palms to hold the glass, showcasing reverence for tradition.
In Russia, placing an empty vodka bottle on the table is considered an ill omen. Instead, it's customary to put the empty bottle on the floor. Similar beliefs exist in Europe regarding unfinished bottles or placing a glass filled with alcohol back on the table.