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aising a toast is a very old custom widely prevalent amongst most cultures. Today, a toast is raised to honour a person to wish him or her all the good things in life by way of continued good health, happiness, prosperity, love and friendship.

Who Raises the Toast
  • The host appoints a person to officiate as the toastmaster, at every banquet or ceremonial occasion. If nobody is nominated, the head of the organisation proposes the toast at the end of the meal and before any speeches are made.

  • On informal occasions, one can propose a toast as soon as wine is served.

  • To open the bottle, first remove the wire enclosure around the cork. Hold the bottle firmly in place by pressing it against yourself.

  • In a restaurant, one may raise the toast as soon as the drinks arrive. It is a nice gesture at the beginning of a meal and equally gracious for guests to raise a toast, especially to the hostess, at dessert time.

How to Raise a Toast
  • The person proposing the toast stands up if it is a large gathering so as to be within view of everyone.

  • When there are fewer people and the set-up is informal, the person need not stand up as the toast is only a friendly gesture.

  • The person raising the toast looks at the person to whom the toast is being proposed while speaking, and holds the glass in the right hand. All others present at the table listen attentively to what is being said.

  • The toast should be brief and not a long speech. It can even be very short as ‘Here’s to your health’. But the toast can even become the single ingredient of making a dinner very pleasant and lively. The toast, though brief, should necessarily refer to the person and occasion concerned.

After Proposing a Toast
  • At the conclusion of a toast, the glass is raised and a sip taken.

  • All others present follow suit by raising their glasses and taking a sip.

Response to a Toast
  • The person to whom the toast is raised remains seated and does not drink but merely smiles and nods. However, it is a good gesture on the part of the person to respond by proposing a toast in return.

  • A simple “Thank You” or a short toast in reciprocation or even a smile and a silent gesture which means ‘Thank You” would be enough.

Reasons for a Toast
  • Celebrations such as anniversaries, success in examinations or a promotion, some good news, visiting business associates, new arrivals and farewells in office are some of the occasions that call for one or several toasts.

  • A person who is good to raising toasts can do so on any occasion.

Some popular endings to a Toast

"Cheers" (English)
"Cheers" (English)
"Kampai" (Japanese)
"Cin Cin Chin" (Italian)
"Skat" (Scandinavian)
"Avotre Sante" (French)
"Prost" or "Zum Wohl" (German)

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