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.

Learn More

California just became the fifth state to legalize human composting as an alternative to burial. How does this work?

By Lauren David

During the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, it's common to hear people wish each other "Shana Tova!" What does this phrase mean?

By Laurie L. Dove

In Germany, death may be permanent, but gravesites aren't. They're leased until the next "resident" moves in. That's just one grim regulation surrounding funerals and burials.

By Allison Troutner

Advertisement

Henry Louis Gates Jr. will serve as editor-in-chief of the new Oxford Dictionary of African American English, which is slated to be published in spring 2025.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

Mabon is a fairly recent Pagan festival created to give thanks for the harvest. What does Mabon mean and how is it celebrated?

By Dave Roos

Many people think 'Latine' is a better gender-inclusive term than 'Latinx.' Here's why.

By Melissa K. Ochoa

The surnames popular around the globe reflect everything from one's ancestry to regional colonizers to occupations.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Advertisement

How did blue collar, white collar (and pink collar!) end up in our lexicon, and what are the origins of their meanings?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

You may have wished upon a star, but have you ever wished upon a rock? Find a lucky wishing stone and give it a try.

By Muriel Vega

A koan is a riddle or puzzle that Zen Buddhists use during meditation to help them unravel greater truths. We look at some examples to see how these enigmatic sayings work.

By Dave Roos

It's a strange phrase when you think about it, as people don't normally ride pigs. So where did it come from?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

Advertisement

The origin of this false grammatical no-no is lost to history. But, we still shy away from starting sentences with coordinating conjunctions. And here's why.

By Laurie L. Dove

The Chautauqua Institution, where Salman Rushdie was attacked Aug. 12, 2022, was founded nearly 150 years ago to promote the free exchange of ideas and learning to benefit individuals and society.

By Charlotte M. Canning

In today's world of endless self-promotion, this beautiful little memorial celebrates those who gave their lives to save someone else.

By Muriel Vega

The recent attack on author Salman Rushdie led many to conclude that it was the result of the fatwa issued against him in 1989 by the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. But what exactly is a fatwa?

By Myriam Renaud

Advertisement

When you're holding something together with nothing more than spit and perhaps some duct tape (duck tape?), what is the correct term, jury- or jerry-rigged?

By Laurie L. Dove

Not ready for a permanent tattoo? Get one that's designed to fade over time instead.

By Madison Palmer

Ashura is a very important holiday to both Shiite and Sunni Muslims but the two groups attach very different meanings to the day.

By Dave Roos

In recent years, the word "demisexual" was added to dictionaries, while "aerodrome" was dropped. But just who is making these lexicographical decisions?

By Laurie L. Dove

Advertisement

Tattoos age just like we do. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. There are simple ways to make them pop and look good, no matter how old they are.

By Allison Troutner

She's the hero of one of the best-known Bible stories and also described as one of Jesus' ancestors, even though she was a Canaanite prostitute. Who was Rahab, really?

By Dave Roos

The Flower of Life is one of those patterns that shows up in repeatedly in nature and architecture. But what does it mean and why is it considered part of "sacred geometry?"

By Alia Hoyt

Some of the most paradoxical, profound words that Jesus spoke can be contained within these eight beatitudes. So what do they really mean?

By Dave Roos

Advertisement

Did Jesus speak Hebrew? Greek? Aramaic? Or some unknown tongue?

By Dave Roos

The hamsa, a depiction of a human hand, often with a central eye motif, is a protective symbol meant to ward off evil.

By Robert Lamb