Why when toasting to the memory of someone using a shot glass do people sometimes spill a little out.?!

Question: Why when toasting to the memory of someone using a shot glass do people sometimes spill a little out.?
I was watching the movie Defiance and noticed that when they are toasting the memory of their father they spill deliberately a little before drinking the shot. I've seen it in other movies too, is it out of respect or just something made up. Just wondering if there was any significance to it.


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There is significance to it. It is called Libation. This is done out of respect for the dead and as a way to share the drink with a person who has passed on. What is spilled out of the glass is an offering to the dead person/his spirit. It is very common to do in countries where animism (the belief in spirits and ghosts) is deeply rooted, like South-East Asia.

Many people in Thailand for instance also pour a first shot-glass onto the floor as an offering to dead friends when opening a bottle of alcohol. Not just as a toast, but habitually.

In the same spirit, people there often offer food and drinks to spirits on either a small altar (in this case it's mostly offered to ancestors) or what is called a spirit house. This is a colorful miniature house on a pedestal which is put in front of a building to offer spirits/ghosts of the deceased a place to live (mainly to keep them out of the building...). Food and drinks are offered to keep them happy.


Maybe when their clanking glasses the wine/beer "slushes" around and spills out i doubt it has any significance To be Honest.

It's for the missing member that you are toasting. Like giving them a sip sort of.


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