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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Recognized by its bright colors and rows of bold, woven patterns, kente cloth is more than a piece of fabric. Each kente cloth has meaning, which is conveyed through its colors, patterns and symbols.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

Floriography — the association of flowers with special virtues and sentiments — has been a practice from antiquity to the present day.

By Carrie Tatro

Today's gospel and blues music and the freedom songs of the civil rights movement all have historical roots in traditional slave spirituals, which were songs of sorrow, but also jubilation at the promise of freedom.

By Tara Yarlagadda

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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?

By Tara Yarlagadda

This Scandinavian lifestyle term has become very popular in the rest of Europe and the U.S. But what does it really mean and how can you incorporate it into everyday life?

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

How exactly did these two fried friends get together and become so beloved in the U.K.? Like many a national cuisine, its roots started in faraway lands.

By Dave Roos

Every year, the city of Santa Fe collectively shouts "Burn him!" and sets fire to Zozobra, "the enemy of all that is good."

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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June is Pride Month, when the LGBTQ community comes together to celebrate their struggles and to raise awareness to issues they still face.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery or just another way of causing offense.

By Danielle Douez

Nineteenth century lawyer and naturalist Peter A. Browne put together the world's greatest collection of ... yes, hair. Today, it's valuable for the DNA it contains.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

It's called geophagy and it's a relatively common practice all over the world, but nobody's completely sure why.

By Jesslyn Shields

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Founded by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus is considered one of the most influential art movements of the 20th century.

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

March 8th, International Women's Day, has been celebrated around the world for more than a century. So, what are we actually celebrating?

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

If you think celebrity kid names like Apple and North West are odd, at least they're easy to remember. These five famous people have names so long, you couldn't recall them if you had to.

By Carrie Whitney, Ph.D.

You know what's totally useless? A pair of umbrellas shoes. But they're so fun you know you want them anyway. Welcome to chindogu.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

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In the Netherlands, children get gifts from St. Nicholas, who's accompanied by his servant Zwarte Pieten (Black Pete), always wearing blackface. Many Dutch denounce him as racist while others claim it's just part of the culture.

By Dave Roos

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.

By Jesslyn Shields

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

By Dave Roos

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?

By Carrie Tatro

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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.

By Alia Hoyt

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

By Diana Brown

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

By Laurie L. Dove

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?

By Kathryn Whitbourne

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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.

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

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

By Dave Roos