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.

Topics to Explore


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How Santa Claus Works

File: Claus, Santa. Residence: the North Pole. Known aliases: Sinterklaas, St. Nick, Father Time and Sandy Claws. No matter what you call him, Santa Claus is one formidable being. Learn what makes the man in red tick.

How Christmas Works

You've budgeted, scouted shopping malls and wrapped the last present, taking care to top it with just the right festive bow. But what do presents, three wise men and Jesus have to do with each other anyway?

How Santa's Elves Work

Underappreciated and overworked elves put in a pretty astounding amount of labor during the holidays. Then there are the other duties they must fulfill, like tending to diva reindeer like Rudolph. So do elves thrive on stress, and do they ever get disgruntled?

How Does Santa Make It Around the World in One Night?

Imagine having to deliver toys (and coal) to children all over the world -- in just one night. How does the big guy do it? Moxie? Magic? How about a little something under the hood called a stardust antimatter propulsion unit? That's just how Santa rolls.

Why is Rudolph's nose red?

He's been called a diva, a hero and a misfit. He's Rudolph the red-nose reindeer. And his ruby-red honker has long been celebrated for guiding Santa and his team of reindeer through the night. Learn what bioluminescence, evolution, and maybe even atavism, have to do with this doe-eyed deer.

Chi Kung Exercises

In Taoism, chi refers to the living energy in all things. Kung is a term that refers to the achievements of long practice. Together, as chi kung, these words describe a relationship between someone who cultivates the chi and the discipline they use.

Taoism and Chi

Chi, the life force, is a primal substance that animates the universe in Taoism. Learn more about chi as a Taoist concept and see how chi manifests itself in human experience.

Taoist Philosophy

Taoist philosophy attempts to illuminate the interdependency of all things, including life, art, and language. By observing the processes of nature, the Taoists say, we can come to some understanding about the meaning of our lives and about our place in the world.

How Feng Shui Works

What exactly is feng shui? Is it science or superstition? Some dismiss feng shui as Chinese myth or new age, but feng shui advocates say that it can improve everything from harmony in the home to wealth and well-being.

Meaning of Taoism

The meaning of Taoism is more subtle than most religions, arising mostly from mythology. Learn about these philophies and ideas that have survived for almost two thousand years.

How Thanksgiving Works

Some see Thanksgiving as an example of the possibility of great respect and cooperation between two different cultures. Today, many associate the holiday less with pilgrims and American Indians and more with football and turkey.

Why do girls wear pink and boys wear blue?

The common practice of dressing boys in blue and girls in pink is rooted in tradition. But is there science and biology in this equation, too?

Extraordinary Lists

For your enjoyment, we've compiled lists of the best, the worst, the peculiar, the banned, the largest, the smallest, and other things we found just too interesting to leave out. It’s all right here.

How Murphy's Law Works

The idiom says whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Is it the mysterious power of Murphy's Law, or is it simply people who give the law relevance?

9 Legends of American Folklore

From Johnny Appleseed to Paul Bunyan, figures of American folklore continue to inspire and engage. Before the invention on radio and television, people created these characters to help people cope with hard times. Learn more about these legendary figures.

9 Types of Angels

There are many types of angels that make up the spiritual world. Angels are divided into nine different types within three main groups, which are then called choirs. Find out more about these angelic intermediaries for God.

13 Examples of Good and Bad Manners Around the World

What may elicit a thumbs up from Miss Manners in the U.S. may not elsewhere in the world. Some cultures do things very different from the way Americans are used to. Learn 13 examples of good and bad manners around the world.

13 Anagrams

An anagram takes the letters in a phrase and rearranges them to form a new phrase. Anagrams can sometimes spell out an accurate description of the original word. Some of the results will surprise you. See our list of 13 anagrams.

15 Palindromes

Palindromes are phrases or sentences that read the same forward and backward. How can that be possible? Read 15 palindromes and find out if this list of sentences does, in fact, read the same if you reverse the placement of the letters.

10 Little-Known Patron Saints

While Saint Peter and Saint Micheal are well-known, there are a number of little-known patron saints. Did you know that there is a patron saint for dentists, ice skaters, bachelors and difficult marriages? Find out more about obscure patron saints.

8 of the Oldest Institutions

At age 77, astronaut John Glenn was the oldest person to travel into space. The oldest continuously operated tavern can be found in the city of Boston and the oldest city is in India. Learn about all 8 of the oldest categories featured on our list.

9 Bits of Irony

James Dean warned teens about the dangers of speeding the same year he died in a high-speed car crash. The Beatles were turned down by a record producer who claimed that groups with guitars were a fad. Read about this and all 9 bits of irony.

10 Famous Curses

Everybody has bad days, but fortune seems to have it in for some people. You decide: Are these 10 infamous cases of bad luck coincidences or curses?

53 Slang Terms by Decade

If you're a newbie to slang, just chill and dig it. Every new generation has its own slang that kids use without their parents understanding. Or read our list of 53 slang terms by decade, and you'll be talking like a hipster in no time.

14 Pangrams

Tired of 'the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog?' Pangrams are sentences that use every single letter of the alphabet at least once. Learn other sentences that use the entire alphabet when you read our list of 14 pangrams.