Champagne was traditionally served at the coronations of French kings and has historically been associated with christenings, new beginnings, and rare moments, including New Year’s Eve festivities around the world for this reason. The art of toasting to one’s health can be attributed to the Greek culture. In Ancient Greece the hosts took the first sip of communal wine to assure their guests that the drink was not poisoned.

Ever wondered why some people clink glasses together when toasting? In early Christian times, people believed that the devil entered the body when people swallowed alcohol but could be deterred by bells chiming. To ward off the devil, guests would clink their glasses together to make a bell-like sound with every guest present. Today, modern manners do not require clinking glasses with every guest, which is cumbersome and distracting. Smiling and making eye contact is a gracious way to toast.

The word “toast” originated from the Roman practice of placing a piece of spiced, charred bread in wine to mellow the flavor. When drinking to someone’s health, the cup was always drained to reach the saturated toast at the bottom.
International New Year Toasts: Worldwide many cultures toast in one form or another. Wishing others a ‘Happy New Year’ is one of the most common toasts made on New Year’s Eve. Globally, you may hear and speak Cheers for the New Year and Congratulations for the New Year in various languages as follows:

Language – Spelling (S) or Pronunciation (P)

Afrikaans –   S: Gelukkige Nuwejaar

Albanian –   S: Gezuar Vitin e Ri

Azerbaijani  –   S: Yeni iliniz mubarek

Bahasa melayu –  S: Selamat tahun baru

Basque –  S: Urte berri on

Bengali –  S: Shuvo Noboborsho

Bosnian –  S: sretna nova godina

Catalan –  S: Felic any nou

Cebuano (Philippines) – S: Mabungahong Bag-ong Tuig kaninyong tanan

Chinese  –  P: Chu Shen Tan

Czech  –  S: Stastny Novy Rok

Danish  –   Godt Nytar

Dutch  –   S: Gelukkig Nieuwjaar or Fijne oudejaarsavond

Esperanto  –  Bonan Novjaron

Estonian  –    S: Head uut aastat

Filipino   –    S: Manigong Bagong Taon

Finnish   –    S: Onnellista Uutta Vuotta

French  –  S: Bonne annee

Gaelic (Scotland)  –  S: Bliadhna mhath ur

German  –   S: Frohes Neues Jahr / Gutes Neues Jahr

Greek  –   P: kali chronya

Hawaiian –   S: Hauoli Makahiki hou

Hebrew  – P: Shana Tova

Hungarian  –  S: Boldog Uj Evet/ Buek

Indonesian (Bahasa)  –  Selamat Tahun Baru

Irish  –   S: Athbhliain faoi mhaise dhuit /Bhliain nua sasta

Italian  –   S: Felice Anno Nuovo or Buon anno

Japanese  –  P: akemashite omedetou gozaimasu

Korean   –   P: she heh bokmahn ee bahd euh sae yo

Laotian (Hmong) – P: nyob zoo xyoo tshiab

Latin – S: Felix sit annus novus

Maltese – S: Is Sena it-Tajba

Maori –  S: Kia hari te tau hou

Nigerian (Hausa)  –   S: Barka da sabuwar shekara

Norwegian  –  S: Godt Nyttar

Polish     –  S: Szczesliwego Nowego Roku

Portuguese   –     S: Feliz Ano Novo

Romanian  –   S: La Multi Ani

Russian  –   P: s novim godom

Samoan –  S: la manuia le Tausaga Fou

Spanish   –  S: Feliz Ano Nuevo

Swahili    –   S: Nakutakaia Heri Ya Mwaka Mpya

Swedish   –  S: Gott Nyttar

Thai  – P: saa-wat-dii pi-mai

Turkish  –   S: Yeliniz Kutlu Olsun/ Mutlu yillar

Vietnamese   –   P: Chuc mung nam moi

Urdu  –   P: nyya saal mubarak

Welsh   –  S: Blwyddyn newydd dda  

Please help us add to this list. In what language do you communicate “Happy New Year”? We wish you all the best in 2017. Thank you for reading my blog!  Sharon Schweitzer

Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural consultant, an international protocol expert and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She is accredited in intercultural management, is the resident etiquette expert for CBS Austin’s We Are Austin, regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, The New York Times, and numerous other media. She is the best-selling, international award-winning author of Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, named to Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2015 and recipient of the British Airways International Trade, Investment & Expansion Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.