Happy Friday the 13th!
Wait. What? No one ever says that!
In Western cultures, Friday the 13th is a harbinger of bad luck and not a happy holiday. Personally, my favorite number is 13 and I got no beef with Friday – so I’m chill! Yet some folk are superstitious. They choose to stay indoors on Friday the 13th, away from black cats, open ladders, sharp objects, and electrical hazards. Of course, superstitions aren’t only restricted to Friday the 13th. Every culture has it’s fair share of superstitions to last a lifetime (pretty sure you know someone who believes in the evil eye “saybet el 3ein”) and the wine and drinking world is no exception.
In Italy, people believe that it’s bad luck to toast with anything that isn’t glass. However, there’s a loophole. If you’re drinking out of a styrofoam cup, tin mug, or a drinking horn, a safe way of toasting your drinking mates is by bumping back-of-the-hand to back-of-the-hand. Also in Italy, if you ever spill wine, you should dab it behind your ears to ward off bad luck. However, in Rome, people seem to believe that spilling wine is an omen of disaster point blank. So careful when drinking your wine – these Italians take their wine business seriously!
In Russia, it’s believe that the clinking sound made by glasses when toasting scares off demons who would’ve entered your mouth and turned you into a very bad drunk. Jeez, no one wants to be a bad drunk! Also, if you ever arrive late to a party, you must drink a full glass of booze bottoms up – that’s your “punishment”.
In Philippines, you should offer the first shot glass from a newly opened bottle to evil spirits and the devil. That’s done by pouring that shot glass on the ground and saying “Para sa demonyo“, which means “For the demons”. It’s believed that offering them the first share of the loot keeps them happy and they would then leave you alone. These are some easy to bribe demons, don’t you think?
Many different Western drinking superstitions revolve around a single thought: your life in the sac *cough*. So to avoid this most unwanted of bad lucks, listen closely…
In the France and Germany, you should never ever break eye contact when toasting, or else you’ll be cursed with 7 years of bad sex. (I bet you’ll take a broken mirror over this any day, huh?)
In the Czech Republic, the superstition requires a bit more effort to combat. Toasting must include eye contact, no spilling, and no interlinking arms, and you must toast with everyone present with you… otherwise, it’s 7 years of bad sex for you, my friend.
In Spain, the folk believe that toasting with water is what will bring you 7 years of bad sac-time. So probably, don’t drink any water when you’re in Spain. You can never be too safe…
The U.S. Navy have a similar superstition to the Spanish, though there’s no sex involved. The Naval force say that whoever toasts with water will die of drowning.