Saturday, March 6, 2010

A toast

A toast is a ritual in which a drink is taken as an expression
of honour or goodwill.
The term may be applied to the person or thing so honoured,
the drink taken, or the verbal expression accompanying the drink.
Thus, a person could be "the toast of the evening", for whom
someone "proposes a toast" to congratulate and for
whom a third person "toasts" in agreement.
The ritual forms the basis of the literary and performance genre,
of which Mark Twain's "To the Babies" is a well-known example.

The toast as described here is rooted in Western culture,
but certain cultures outside that sphere have their own traditions
in which consuming a drink is connected with ideas of celebration and honour.
While the physical and verbal ritual of the toast may be elaborate and formal, merely raising one's glass towards someone or something and
then drinking is essentially a toast as well,
the message being one of goodwill towards the person or thing indicated.

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