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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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What Is a Mandala? (No, Not Nelson. That's Mandela)

The intricate, circular design of the mandala is used in many religions and cultures to symbolically represent the cosmos and the organizational structure of life itself.

Ultimate Guide to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

What's 63 feet long, 46 feet tall and filled with 12,000 cubic feet of helium? One of the behemoth balloons at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Learn how many balloon wranglers keep the parade afloat and other fascinating facts.

Military Funerals Give Service Members and Families One Final Salute

Military funeral honors, involving a flag presentation and the playing of taps, can be very meaningful to the families of loved ones who served in the U.S. military. Who is eligible and how do you request these honors?

What on Earth Were They Talking About? A Quote Quiz

You might know the quote but do you know what the speaker was referring to? See how many of these famous quips or disses you recognize.

5 Fun Facts About the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree in New York City may be an iconic symbol of the holidays, but how well do you know this tree-dition?

10 Lively Facts About the Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead is not a Mexican version of Halloween. It's a celebration of life — both here and beyond — when the souls of the departed come home for feasting and fun. Here's how it started.

What Does It Mean When Someone Says 'That's Just Semantics'?

In our modern vernacular, the phrase "that's just semantics" has somehow become shorthand to insinuate the speaker has argued something trivial or unimportant. But what does it really mean?

Flying on Halloween? You Can Wear a Costume!

When your broomstick just won't do, and you're forced to fly the "friendly skies," at least you can feel safe knowing you can still show up dressed to kill.

Ghana's Fantasy Coffins Are to Die For

Many Ghanians honor their dead by burying them in vibrant works of art made by skillful master carpenters. These fantasy coffins are shaped like everything from elaborate fish and lions to limos and even sneakers.

Celebrate Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights

This fall festival is about food, faith, lights and gifts. But please don't call it an Indian Hanukah.

The Legend of the Mysterious Night Marchers of Hawaii

They're ghostly warriors who stride through jungles and towns in brilliant costumes, holding torches. Flee now or risk their wrath.

'Scatter Days' Get Uncle Joe's Ashes Out of the Closet

Several crematoriums around the U.S. are holding days when people may scatter ashes of loved ones on the grounds of the funeral home – or otherwise dispose of them – for free.

Messy Legacy of Columbus Threatens Columbus Day Holiday

As more states are swapping Columbus Day celebrations for Indigenous Peoples' Day observances, does Columbus Day still have any relevancy?

Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Cozily

This Scandinavian lifestyle term has become very popular in the rest of Europe and the U.S. But what does it really mean and how can you incorporate it into everyday life?

The Bizarre, Brazen Life of Cultist Aleister Crowley

The late Aleister Crowley liked being known as the "wickedest man in the world." But today he's most remembered as a brash cultist who was the father of a strange religion.

What's the Difference Between Misogyny and Sexism?

The two terms are often used interchangeably, though they have distinct meanings. We'll explain how they're different.

How Fish and Chips Became England's National Dish

How exactly did these two fried friends get together and become so beloved in the U.K.? Like many a national cuisine, its roots started in faraway lands.

The History and Symbolism of the U.S. Presidential Seal

You've seen the presidential seal whenever you've heard a U.S. president formally speak, but do you know its history and significance?

How One Woman Unexpectedly Became the Voice of Siri

Atlanta's Susan Bennett never knew she was primed to become one of the world's most famous voices until Siri first debuted on American iPhones in 2011.

How Punk Works

There's a fascinating story behind how punk, both the music and the cultural movement, spanned the globe, becoming way more than just a sound and a mohawk.

There's More Than One Way to Be Monogamous

We all think we know what it means, but is it possible that monogamy is a bit more complicated than we think it is?

Don't Come Up Short: The Ultimate Abbreviations Quiz

Abbreviations are supposed to make things easier, but when people misuse or misunderstand them they often do just the opposite. How well do you know these commonly flubbed abbreviations?

The Law of Attraction: Will the Universe Give You What You Want?

Many people are attracted to the principles behind the Law of Attraction as one way to have a better life. But does it really work?

Bastille Day: The French Holiday Celebrating Peace and Revolution

The July 14 holiday celebrated by the French is way more complicated than the term "Bastille Day" might suggest.

14 Fantastic Facts About the Fourth of July

Which three presidents died on July 4? What's the Horribles Parade? And, should America be celebrating on July 2 instead?

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