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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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How the Papacy Works

Catholics around the world have welcomed Pope Francis. Besides providing spiritual leadership to millions worldwide, the pope has many other duties. Learn about the rules of the Papacy.

In Honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

The national American holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. falls on the third Monday in January. Learn about the life and work of this legendary civil rights activist.

How Hanukkah Works

Also known as the Festival of Lights, Hanukkah celebrates a very special triumph over religious persecution, when the Jews were able to escape oppression at the hands of Antiochus, a Syrian king.

How Ramadan Works

In the religion of Islam, Ramadan is the holiest time of the year. For a month, Muslims fast during daylight hours to show their loyalty to and praise for Allah. Find out what Ramadan is all about.

How Yom Kippur Works

Yom Kippur is one of two Jewish High Holidays. It marks the end of a 10-day period during which Jews seek forgiveness for their sins so they can make a fresh start. Find out all about Yom Kippur.

How Rosh Hashanah Works

Rosh Hashanah is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish religion. You may know all about it, or you may know only that it has something to do with apples and honey. Learn all about Rosh Hashanah.

How Friday the 13th Works

Like many human beliefs, the fear of Friday the 13th (known as paraskevidekatriaphobia) isn't exactly grounded in scientific logic. But that doesn't stop us from feeling that it's "unlucky."

How Tipping Works

Did you know that servers, guides, drivers, concierges and others who help us dine and travel sometimes aren't paid even minimum wage by their employers? They depend on customer gratuities. Want to know what to tip and when?

How the Amish Work

No computers? No electricity? This lifestyle might seem tough to most of us, but to the Amish, it's the norm. Read about the Amish culture, see pictures and learn how and why the Amish live as they do.

How Urban Legends Work

OK, so a good friend of mine was driving down the highway and he picked up this hitchhiker… Urban legends are the basis for some truly spooky ghost stories. See how the tales get started and how they make their way to you.

Who Came Up With Mother's Day and Why?

Mother's Day is set aside in many countries as a day to honor our mothers and grandmothers. The origin of this day can be traced back much further than you might think. Learn about the history of this special day.

Who came up with Mother's Day and why?

Mother's Day is set aside in many countries as a day to honor our mothers and grandmothers. The origin of this day can be traced back much farther than you might think. Learn about the history of this special day.

How does someone become a saint?

Becoming a saint in the Roman Catholic Church is designed to be lengthy and difficult process. What are steps involved in canonization?

Why is it considered unlucky when the thirteenth day in a month falls on a Friday?

We have all heard that anytime the thirteenth day of the month falls on a Friday that it is considered an unlucky day. Where did this notion come from? Find out the answer to that question in this article.

How St. Patrick's Day Works

Believe it or not, there's more to St. Patrick's Day than beer and gaudy green attire. Learn about the story, the saint, the shamrocks and the famous Blarney Stone.

How Mistletoe Works

Did you know that the word "mistletoe" comes from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning "dung" and "twig"? Learn how and why this romantic tradition came to be committed under an unfortunately named shrub.

How Christmas Trees Work

It's time to unpack the ornaments, string up the popcorn, and yes -- untangle those lights. Plan on piling it all on a fresh Christmas tree? Learn about the different types and how to pick the perfect one.

How Halloween Works

How did Halloween become the one day of the year when door-to-door begging for candy isn’t just allowed … it’s encouraged? Get a ghoulish glimpse into the surprising origins of everything from jack-o’-lanterns to trick-or-treating.

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Americans typically view Labor Day as the official end of summer and a free day off from work. But have you ever stopped to think about who was behind it? And why is it celebrated in early September?

What Does R.S.V.P. Mean?

What's the story behind the acronym R.S.V.P.? And what is the proper etiquette when you get an invitation that requests you R.S.V.P.?

How Easter Works

Learn all about the springtime celebration of Easter, from its origins to the (often wacky) worldwide variations in its observance.

Is there a 50/50 chance that two in 20 people will have the same birthday?

Someone told me that if there are 20 people in a room, there's a 50/50 chance that two of them will have the same birthday. How can such a small group have two people with the same birthday in it?

What Does 'Auld Lang Syne' Mean?

What does "Old Lang Sign" mean? I always hear people singing it on New Year's Eve, but no one seems to know what it means!

Which place on the planet was the first one to celebrate the new year on January 1, 2000?

When the clock struck midnight on December 31, 1999, Hawaii was one of the last places to celebrate the new year that year. Where was the first place to celebrate the new year that night? Find out in this article.

How Valentine's Day Works

When did the Valentine's Day frenzy begin? Was there really a saint named "Valentine"? Why the flowers and chocolate? Learn all about the origins and symbols of Valentine's Day.

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