Cultural Traditions

Cultural traditions include events, rituals and customs that a society shares. Read about the wide variety of cultural traditions in these articles.

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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.

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.

Hispanic or Latino? It’s Complicated

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

The Lowdown on High Heels: Men Wore Them First

Love your sexy red-soled Louboutins? Did you know that way before they came along, high heels were worn by men as a sign of power and privilege?

10 Ways Americans and Europeans Differ

While most generalizations are gross, Americans who have traveled to Europe probably have noticed that certain practices they take for granted are non-existent there. Likewise, Europeans who visit the U.S. are amazed at some habits Americans have.

What's the Deal with Saudi Arabia's Sudden 'Revolution'?

Mohammed bin Salman seems to be modernizing the Middle Eastern country, but is it for real, or is it just for show?

State-funded Funerals: What Happens to the Unclaimed Dead?

Cities have protocols for making sure everyone — even the nameless — has an eternal resting place.

What’s the Relationship Between Chubby Checker and Fats Domino?

Although there's no official record that the late Fats Domino and Chubby Checker ever met, these music legends have common ground.

Flameless Cremation Provides Alternative to Burial

More people are opting for cremation over traditional burials and in some states they can choose a water cremation.

Will Death of Georgia Island Champion Hasten End of a Unique Culture?

Cornelia Bailey was the unofficial historian of Sapelo Island, Georgia, who helped spread the word about its unique Geechee culture. But after recent death, will residents be able to hold on to their heritage?

Who Are the Rohingyas?

They're been living in Myanmar (formerly Burma) since the 12th century, yet they've been persecuted by the Buddhist majority for decades. Here's why.

5 Reasons Why Danes Are Happier Than the Rest of Us

The Danish people are among the happiest on the planet. Here are 5 reasons why.

Bronze Age Burial Sites Suggest Women Spread Culture More Than Men

Women in the late Stone and early Bronze Ages in Europe probably traveled long distances and spread new ideas and objects, more so than their male counterparts.

Why Gravy Wrestling Is an Annual Tradition in One British Town

The annual World Gravy Wrestling Championship sees grapplers go head to head in a savory meat sauce on the last Monday each August.

Belgian Town Cooks Gigantic Omelet, Defying European Egg Scandal

For more than two decades, the town of Malmedy has created a huge omelet, and this year they didn't let an egg scare stop them.

How Motivational Speakers Work

Motivational speakers like Tony Robbins charge exorbitant sums for fans to hear them speak. What draws people to them and how do they keep the attention of thousands?

How Has Interracial Marriage Been Treated Around the World?

While anti-miscegenation laws weren't unique to the United States, they also weren't common.

Kushti: The Traditional Mud Wrestling of India and Pakistan

A disappearing sport survives in a handful of mud-caked South Asian gyms specializing in a unique style of wrestling.

Ancient Kite Fishing Technique Makes Its Way Into Modern Waters

Forget worms and chum. The next time you go fishing, go fly a kite.

10 20th-Century Staples We Never Thought Would Die

Don't ever assume something will last forever. A lot of folks once thought these 10 things would never become obsolete.

What It's Like to Stay Silent for 10 Days

Silent meditation retreats abound. What’s it really like to keep quiet for so long?

Is It a Nice Day for a Ghost Wedding?

For centuries, ghosts have wed in China. Why did the practice start, and how is it possible that it's still around today?

Selling Diamonds to People Who Aren’t Getting Married

The diamond industry wants to convince millennials that diamonds are a marker of every 'real' relationship. And they have a new ad campaign to go along with it.

Free Car or Free Waffle? The Millionth Customer Crapshoot

Some companies go all out for their millionth customer. Others think a plaque will do.