Culture & Traditions

Cultures and Traditions takes a look at how people interact with each other. This might be through sub-cultures, relationships, fads or religion and spirituality.

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Septum piercing has been a worldwide symbol of beauty and a rite of passage in many cultures for centuries, but there are definitely some things to know before you take the plunge and pierce.

By Wendy Bowman

It's the oldest (and probably most obscure) monotheistic religion. So, how did it influence so many of the better-known ones? And will Zoroastrianism survive?

By Dave Roos

The first man and woman are formed from clay to live in paradise until they are forced to leave because of deceit. It's a biblical story but also one found in many other cultures.

By Dave Roos

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They both sound prestigious, but one ranks higher than the other. So, which is it and how do you get your hands on one of these British titles, anyway?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Recognized by its bright colors and rows of bold, woven patterns, kente cloth is more than a piece of fabric. Each kente cloth has meaning, which is conveyed through its colors, patterns and symbols.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

President-elect Joe Biden has pretty much made 'malarkey' a household word, so we thought we'd do some research into its origin story.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

The earliest biblical descriptions don't mention the presence of animals at the manger when Jesus was born. So how did those Nativity scenes evolve into what we know today?

By Vanessa Corcoran

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Many Christians believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth to judge and rule it; they refer to it as the Second Coming. For centuries people have hoped it would happen in their lifetimes. So when — if ever — will it take place?

By Dave Roos

Originally, 'Pagan' was a putdown for the country folk who continued to worship the old Roman gods, rather than embracing Christianity. Today, paganism is having a resurgence but with a modern twist.

By Dave Roos

Studies have shown that for immigrants, assimilation into the new culture can be bad for your health, family relationships and educational attainment. Why's that, and how do you acculturate without assimilating?

By Dave Roos

At-thay epends-day on-way at-whay ou-yay ean-may y-bay eal-ray.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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By the time Richard Alpert died in 2019, he was better known as Baba Ram Dass and had become a spiritual teacher, psychedelic research pioneer, best-selling author and New Age guru to millions of followers.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

This centuries-old Pagan holiday isn't necessarily scary. But those who celebrate are honoring the dead, believing their spirits have easy access to the world of the living during Samhain.

By Mark Mancini

Canadian Thanksgiving is on Oct. 12 this year. How does it differ from the American version? And what other Canadian holidays do we need to get up to speed on?

By Dave Roos

More states are replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day. What's prompted the switch and how you do celebrate it?

By Dave Roos

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Born in 1207 as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, the Sufi mystic and Persian poet wrote a staggering amount of verse, and is still beloved and widely influential to this day.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

The Latin language may be dead, but this phrase, which originated 2,000 years ago, is still used in legal and financial docs. So what does it mean?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

If you've ever expressed the charming idea that you have a buttload of something – a buttload of laundry to do, a buttload of tacos to eat – you may have wondered what the measure of a buttload actually is and where the phrase came from.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Ever found yourself in a pickle and wondered, "Hey, why the heck do we call it a pickle?" Let's see if we can swim through the brine and find out.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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The phrase (which means to ride in the front passenger seat of the car) seems like it might have come about during the Wild West. But it actually took a detour through Hollywood.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The term Latinx has emerged recently as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino and Latina, but not everyone is on board. In fact most Hispanics haven't even heard it before.

By John Donovan

The most famous Quaker (the one on the oats box) is not even a real person. And this religious group, best known for its pacifism, has had much success in a sweeter area of food: chocolate!

By Dave Roos

You know that time in summer when everything slows down and not much is going on? The German word sommerloch neatly sums it up. But where did it come from?

By Dave Roos

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Thanks to COVID-19, big celebrations are canceled. So it's no surprise people aren't saying 'Happy Birthday' with a simple card, but with a huge yard sign instead.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Floriography — the association of flowers with special virtues and sentiments — has been a practice from antiquity to the present day.

By Carrie Tatro