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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Red Roses or Yellow? Every Flower Has a Secret Meaning

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

The Legacy of African American Spirituals in Today's Gospel and Blues Music

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.

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?

Hygge: The Danish Art of Living Cozily

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?

How Fish and Chips Became England's National Dish

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.

Zozobra: Santa Fe's Yearly Incineration of Sorrows

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

Pride Month in the U.S. Celebrates LGBTQ+ Progress and Equality

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

Cultural Appropriation or Appreciation? Sometimes the Line Is Blurry

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

Why Peter A. Browne Bizarrely Collected Hair

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.

Why Do People Eat Dirt?

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

The Bauhaus Movement Turns 100

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

What International Women's Day Is Really All About

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

5 Famous People With Seriously Long Names

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.

Chindogu: The Art of Un-useless Inventions

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.

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?

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.

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.