Almost every country has its own drinking customs. In China, it’s common to hold a glass below those of one’s elders and superiors when toasting. In Sweden, songs are favored over simply saying skål. Whether it’s raising a glass before a meal or to celebrate a special occasion, toasting as a symbolic act to honor a moment has persevered throughout the ages. Some people perform the ritual as a mark of good manners, while others see the tradition as an important part of their cultural heritage. Regardless of the reason, toasting has become a way to inject a sense of respect and camaraderie into a social gathering. Although no one knows the exact origins of toasting, what we do know is that celebrations involving alcohol date back to the Neolithic period. “The term ‘toast’—the act of raising a glass during a festive celebration—gained popularity in the medieval times, ” explains Carolyn Panzer, director of corporate social responsibility for international alcoholic beverage company Diageo. “The name comes from the act of dropping a literal piece of spiced or charred bread into a cup or bowl of wine, This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 43 Signal Boost How status anxiety drives culture. Arts & Culture Issue 38 Winter Sun Designed by Louis Barthélemy and crafted by Tarek El Safty, these decorative khayamiya marry Egyptian tradition with contemporary art. Arts & Culture Issue 38 Memes of Communication A conversation about digital folklore. Arts & Culture Issue 36 Designated Drudgery How to take a load off. Arts & Culture Issue 30 Knowing Me, Knowing You Think twice before seeking out your doppelgänger. Arts & Culture Issue 29 Mime Culture On lip-syncing and the allure of mouthing along.