Drinking in Greece is rather casual and done with friends and family while enjoying a nice meal or celebrating an event or achievement. However, that doesn’t you can’t cheers in a bar or restaurant and often you will find tourists gathering together and toasting while sharing stories of the adventures.
Yasou – A very casual greeting and cheers in Greece, meaning “to your health”. This term is best used as a bar and is popular while raising your glass to toast. It is also common to hear Yasou when toasting to younger generations.
Yassas – Same meaning, but this term is used in a more formal setting like a fine dining restaurant. It is also used to cheers older people or family members as a sign of respect.
Summary of Greek Drinking Toasts
Greek drinking toasts are an important part of Greek culture. They express good wishes, honor guests and celebrate special occasions. The most common toasts in Greece are:
- “Yamas,” which means “Cheers!” or “Good health!”
- “Stin ygeia mas” – To our health!
- “Kali orexi” – Good appetite!
- “Sto kalo mas” – For the best of us!
- “Na zisoume” – May we live long lives!
- “Efcharisto poli” – Thank you very much!
Greek drinking toasts can also be used as a way to show respect for someone or something. A traditional example is the phrase commonly said before drinking wine: “Na sas do tin timi sou” (May I give you your due respect). This phrase honors both the drinker and the person who provided it. It’s also a way of showing gratitude for all that has been shared between two people.
In addition, when Greeks raise their glasses they often say things like: “Pros ta kala” (To the good) or “Ine efkharistos o kairos” (It’s fortunate that this moment exists). These phrases recognize life’s blessings and share appreciation with others around them.
Finally, some Greeks may opt for more creative expressions such as: “Gia na min xathoume pote tis agapes mas” (So that we never forget our loves). This type of toast acknowledges relationships between friends and family members, wishing them eternal love and companionship.