There are many reasons to raise your glass to all that was 2017 and all that will be in 2018. Millions around the globe will ring in the New Year while saluting and toasting friends along with a myriad of historic traditions passed down from generations. Celebrating the passing of one year into the next is recognized in most cultures across the world. We thought it would be fun to dive into some of these traditions so that you may incorporate them into your own NYE gatherings. One thing is for certain, the general theme of the common toast is "good luck" or "good health," and toasting is never done with water anywhere in the world (in fact it's considered bad luck). Whether you are popping popcorn from your couch or popping champagne at the bar, these fun global toasting traditions will give you a little extra swig with your swag.
What to Do: In Korea it's tradition to hold the cup with both hands and let your friends pour into your vessel, this is the polite way of accepting the gesture of anything given to you. Don't forget to give your friends a helping hand by pouring them a drink in return. If you are on the younger side and your drink is poured by an elder, it's customary and respectful to redirect your eyes. What to Say: Before you take that big ol' guzzle make sure to grab your glass with both of your hands,when you raise your glass be sure to do so with your right hand and say “gun bae” (meaning "empty the glass" or "bottoms up"). What to Drink: Try out this Cucumber Melon Soju, a fun twist on a Korean classic –recipe here.
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What to Do: In both France and Italy it is considered rude to not look your toasting buddy in the eye while clinking glasses, so lock eyes with your mate to avoid a major dinner party faux pas. On NYE, some people will throw old items and dishes out of their windows, symbolizing “out with the old and in with the new.” What to Say: Oneof the most common Italian toasts is "salute" (pronounced ''salutay''), meaning ''to your health.'' Another more well known toast is "cin cin" and “Buon anno!” means “Happy New Year!”
What to Do: In Brazil there are two toasting traditions that you must know about. Start by pouring all glasses with alcohol from the same vessel, the idea is that drinking from one bottle results in cooler temperature drinks. Second, you must take a sip immediately after toasting. If you are ringing in the New Year and you happen to be near a beach, seas the dayby jumping into the ocean seven times to bring good luck! What to Say: Make sure while you are clinking glasses that you say “saúde!” (meaning health) and “Feliz Ano Novo” (Happy New Year).
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Czech Republic: "Na zdraví"
What to Do: First and foremost do not break eye contact while toasting to your dinner mate. If you don't keep your eyes locked and loaded, you may be cursed with seven years of bad luck (in the bedroom, uh-oh spaghetti-oh). What to Say: Now, listen up as the next rule is just as important. As you toast to your drinking buddies you will exclaim "Na zdraví" – which literally means “to your health," but you must toast to everyone in the room (and we mean everyone.) This means that if you are in a place with 100 people you better get real organized, lock eyes, proclaim "Na zdraví" and do not spill your drink or cross arms with anyone as this can bring even more bad luck. No pressure! The silver lining is that these traditions are only relegated to drink numero uno.
What to Do: Look at the person you are toasting in the eyes and do not add ice to your glass of wine, EVER. Make sure to avoid crossing your glass with someone else’s and don't set your glass down until everone has toasted. Now you may take that long awaited sip! What to Say: “Bonne année!” (Happy New Year!) with a double “bise,” kiss on each cheek. When toasting it's best to proclaim "A vote santé" (to your health) or "Santé!" and "Tchin" (cheers).
What to Do: On New Years Eve allow the host to be the first to make the toast, then you may make a toast afterwards. Some traditions say to walk around the block with a piece of luggage which is said to bring new travel opportunites your way in the new year. What to Say:“Salud!” which is the equivalent of “Cheers” or “Chin Chin,” which is meant to replicate the sound of glasses clinking when you toast. Finally, make sure you proclaim “Feliz Año Nuevo,” and proceed to hug your fellow drinking bestie.
What to Do: New Year’s Eve is the perfect night to forge friendships, so when the clock strikes midnight it is tradition to grab broken bits of china and toss it against your friends’ door which is a loving sign of long lasting friendship! What to Say: In Danish, they say “skål” which means “Cheers!"
What to Do: In Romania, people usually touch glasses at the strike of twelve while maintaining that strong eye contact. What to Say: Exclaim “Noroc!,” which translates to “Good luck.” You can also toast to “Sănătate” (your health). If you would like to wish your fellow toasters “Happy New Year,” you may proclaim “Un An Nou Fericit!”
What to Do: In Spain, people mark the occasion by eating a grape every chime of midnight, and it is customary for the host to deliver the first toast. What to Say: A typical toast would be "Salud," which means "Good health!"
What to Do: When you raise your glass to cheers to your drinking buddies, make sure to lock eyes or your love life will be difficult. Additionally, if you are offered a piece of Icelandic licorice called Opal, you must take two pieces or you will remain single. What to Say: Happy New Year in Icelandic is “gledilegt nýtt ár,” Skál. Pronounced “Sk-owl,” the word is directly related to the other Scandinavian word for cheers “Skål” (Swedish, Danish and Norwegian).