Cheers to All Occasions - Why do we drink alcohol for celebrations?
Mankind was quick to learn that drinking an alcoholic beverage made them relax, feel good and increased the good mood vibe so it’s no surprise that when there is a call for creating a feel-good situation or celebration moment that people add alcohol to the equation.
Why is beer as associated with celebrations?
Beer is probably one of the oldest drinks known to the human race. It is the third most popular beverage in the world after water and tea. Historically, beer was a communal beverage, illustrations from ancient Middle East shows individuals gathered round a jug or vat of beer using what looks like straws to drink together from the same pot. This is where the public house gathering at the bar has evolved over time. In the same manner the tradition of touching or chinking glasses together with a ‘cheers’ in a toast to whatever situation is an extended symbolic representation of togetherness.
Beer was served a weddings, religious ceremonies and festivals across the land and was actually considered a staple of the daily diet as it provided both nourishment and a safe method of hydration. It has been known for it to be used a wages or down payment for the workforce. It had added value beyond just a drink to the ancients it stood for prosperity, success, health and spirituality. The use of beer and indeed all alcoholic drinks today in celebrations is a centuries old tradition.
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Until quite recently in history beer was considered a food source. The brewing process would eliminate bacteria and alcohol content, making it a safe source to consume. It was referred to as ‘liquid-bread’ since before industrialization of brewing beer it had a good source of B vitamins and fibre. So again, it’s not a surprise that beer/alcohol became an important part of celebrations.
Why do we take a bottle or give the gift the gift of alcohol?
For centuries the tradition of drinking champagne to mark a celebration originated in the royal court of Europe prior to 1789. Champagne was viewed as a status symbol due to its expensive nature. Just the sound of a popping cork on the champagne bottle is enough to mark a celebration. Alcohol gifts are given at birthdays especially milestone events, weddings, engagements, passing of exams and degrees and of course Christmas and New Year Celebrations.
Nowadays, the popular Prosecco is giving the traditional champagne a run for its money, particularly being a cheaper option.
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