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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10 People With Incredibly Bad Luck

Some people were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others were in the right place, but left at the wrong time. And a few just had bad luck thrust upon them.

Chindogu: The Art of Un-useless Inventions

You know what's totally useless? A pair of umbrellas shoes. But they're so fun you know you want them anyway. Welcome to chindogu.

The Cozy Icelandic Christmas Tradition You’ll Want to Steal

On Christmas Eve, Icelandic families traditionally settle down to a cozy night of exchanging gifts of books and reading. It's all part of jólabókaflóð or the Christmas Book Flood.

Santa Claus' 'Workshop Budget' Will Blow Your Mind

We tallied up how much dough it costs the big guy to give every kid in the world toys. And it's way more than we expected.

How Santa's Sleigh Works

Our theory on St. Nick's sweet ride: It's rustic on the outside and state-of-the-art on the inside. Learn more about the advanced technology we think runs Santa's sleigh (and those reindeer).

Do You Have to Open Gifts In Front of Guests?

Over the holidays, lots of gift-giving will be going on. But some people get anxious about opening a gift in front of the giver in case they don't like it and can't fake enough enthusiasm.

Why 'Poop' and 'Wiggle' Are Funny Words, According to Science

That old comedian's advice that the "k" sound is always good for a laugh has been proven true, too.

Don't Buy a Christmas Tree! Rent One Instead

Yes, you read that right. There are several options for renting Christmas trees. They're more eco-friendly and way more convenient.

Funerals Have Changed Since the 1960s. Here's How

A tombstone that features the deceased hobbies? Sure. A personalized playlist playing during the celebration of life? Check. Yep, the business of death isn't quite so gloomy anymore.

The Netherlands' Controversial Blackface Christmas Tradition

In the Netherlands, children get gifts from St. Nicholas, who's accompanied by his servant Zwarte Pieten (Black Pete), always wearing blackface. Lately some Dutch have been decrying him as racist while others claim it's just part of the culture.

A Shrewdness of Apes? Collective Nouns Are a 500-Year-Old Language Fad

Groups of animals sure have some funny names. You can thank the Book of St. Albans for that.

Unraveling Khipu: The Inca Knot Language

The Incas were technologically advanced but never invented a system of written language. Turns out, they encoded more in textiles than we could have imagined possible.

How Much Will Americans Spend on Thanksgiving This Year?

Think you can feed your family of 10 at Thanksgiving for less than $50, total? The American Farm Bureau Federation says you can.

Can You Ace This Thanksgiving Myths Quiz?

The Thanksgiving holiday started out very differently from our modern celebration of gluttony. How much do you know about Thanksgiving history myths? Take our quiz and find out!

Lily Dale: Where the Living and Dead Reconnect

This tiny village in upstate New York has been channeling spirits since the 1800s.

Having a Cherokee Ancestor Doesn’t Necessarily Make You Cherokee Too

A popular Native American aphorism says, "It's not about what you claim, it's about who claims you."

Anti-Semitic Incidents in U.S. Surged 57 Percent in 2017

The Anti-Defamation League identified nearly 2,000 anti-Semitic incidents throughout the U.S. in 2017 — an increase of nearly 60 percent over those in 2016. And for the first time since 2010, one occurred in every state.

5 Halloween Myths That Will Not Die

Checking your kids' candy for poison or sharp objects? Locking up your black cat so it doesn't get snagged by a Satanist? Maybe you can relax after finding out the real stories behind these urban legends.

What Is Einstein's 'God Letter'?

The famous 1954 letter in which Albert Einstein rejected the concept of God may soon be sold for $1 million or more at auction.

The Stories Behind the Electric Slide, the Moonwalk and Other Epic Dance Moves

If the creator of the electric slide had his way, we'd all be sued for doing the dance wrong.

Hispanic or Latino? It’s Complicated

Although many people use the two terms interchangeably, they don't mean the same thing.

Early Scottish Monks Were Gamers

In the search for a lost monastery in Scotland, archaeologists came across an unexpected find – an ancient stone game board.

Jim Roberts and the Cult of the Garbage Eaters

Who is Jim Roberts and the people who fervently follow his doomsday prophecies?

On One Pacific Island, a U.S. Soldier and Prince Philip Are Gods

They're worshipped by 'cargo cults' on the Pacific Island of Tanna. What can their ideals tell us about our own political and social beliefs?


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