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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 the Rasta Movement All About?

It started out as a small movement in Jamaica that went worldwide with the popularity of reggae music. Today you can find Rastafarians on every continent. But what is Rastafari really all about?

Why Xenophobia Thrives in Troubled Times

Xenophobia, or the fear of immigrants and strangers, has a long, unsettling history in the U.S. and across the globe. What makes this prejudice so prominent during hard times throughout history?

How the Pledge of Allegiance Went from Marketing Ploy to Classroom Staple

The Pledge of Allegiance started as just part of a marketing campaign to sell flags. But along the way, it became something much much bigger.

Comma vs. Colon: Take Our Punctuation Quiz!

Punctuation can really make or break a sentence. Test your knowledge of basic (and not-so-basic) punctuation conventions by taking this quiz!

Are You a Grammar Geek? Take Our Quiz!

We all learned about grammar in grade school, but some of us retained the knowledge better than others. Test your knowledge of the finer points of English with our quiz.

Who Decided Which Books to Include in the Bible?

The books that make up the Bible were written over a span of 1,000 years. During that time, many other religious writings were also produced. So, who decided which would be part of the Bible and which would be left out?

Has Guinness World Records Set Any World Records?

The company is known for compiling thousands and thousands of off-the-wall records set by others. But does it hold any records of its own?

How Did 'Bourgeoisie' Become a Bad Word?

If someone calls your tastes 'bourgeois,' should you thank them or shake a fist? You might have to check first with Moliere, Marx or Migos to be sure.

What's the Difference Between a Samurai and a Ninja?

Movies often pit dark-robed, masked ninja assassins against elite samurai warriors. But just how accurate is our modern outlook on these two Japanese fighters?

Henna Tattoos: The History of an Ancient Art

Henna tattoos seem to be everywhere and all the rage, but the rich tradition behind this beautiful form of body art began as a wedding staple in ancient India.

Why Do We Say 'Holy Cow'?

The Hindu religion considers cows holy. But that's certainly not why we utter the expression. So what's the story behind it?

What's So American About Apple Pie?

Baseball, hot dogs, mom and apple pie. Of all these iconically American things, the apple pie holds a special place in the lexicon of American symbolism, but why?

Get to Know the Greek Alphabet, From Alpha to Omega

Even if you hardly know your beta from your zeta, chances are you've used Greek letters at some point in your life. What are they and why are they so common?

There's a Pooping Man in the Catalan Nativity Scene

The typical manger scene features Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and an assortment of animals. But in Catalonia, Spain, there is one more character: a figure with his pants down taking a poop. But why?

A Heavenly Angels Quiz

Halos and robes and wings are how most people think of angels, but these heavenly beings are actually a lot more complex than their popular image. How much do you know about angels' roles, ranks and responsibilities? Take our quiz to find out!

10 Ways to Liven Up Your White Elephant Gift Exchange

White elephant. Mean Santa. Yankee swap. These are the holiday parties we live for. But if it feels like yours is getting a bit tired, we've got 10 rules to liven it up this year.

How Obituaries Went from Dry Death Notices to Tributes to Truth

Obituaries do more than just let the world know someone died. They're a chance to pay tribute to someone, advocate for a cause or even settle a score.

Pope to List Nuclear Weapons as Immoral After Visiting Japan

It's one thing to say it. It's another thing to update the church's official instruction book.

'Franglais' on the Rise, Say French Language Watchdogs

And it's expressions like 'fake news' (instead of information fallacieuse) and 'cool! that are to blame.

What's the Difference? Quiz

Does anyone really know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Or a hurricane and a cyclone? You're about to learn with the answers to this quiz!

Use of the Exclamation Point Has Exploded!

Once this skinny mark of excitement was mainly the provenance of excited teenage girls and inexperienced novelists. But now we're all peppering our sentences with exclamation marks. Is this a good thing?

6 Wild and Wacky Takes on the Advent Calendar

These Advent calendars give new meaning to the phrase "countdown to Christmas." Plus, where did the Advent calendar come from?

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?

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