National Traditions

The variety of national traditions across the planet is mind-boggling. Read about the unique traditions from around the world -- and in your own country.


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The Immigrant Paradox: Why Acculturation Should Not Mean Assimilation

Studies have shown that for immigrants, assimilation into the new culture can be bad for your health, family relationships and educational attainment. Why's that, and how do you acculturate without assimilating?

All 'Aboot' Canadian Holidays

Canadian Thanksgiving is on Oct. 12 this year. How does it differ from the American version? And what other Canadian holidays do we need to get up to speed on?

How the Pledge of Allegiance Went from Marketing Ploy to Classroom Staple

The Pledge of Allegiance started as just part of a marketing campaign to sell flags. But along the way, it became something much much bigger.

The History and Symbolism of the U.S. Presidential Seal

You've seen the presidential seal whenever you've heard a U.S. president formally speak, but do you know its history and significance?

Nameless But Never Forgotten: The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The soldiers who stand vigil over the Tomb are the Sentinels of The Old Guard, a hand-picked group dedicated to honoring the memory of those who gave their lives for their country.

Weiberfastnacht: The Day German Women Stormed the Ramparts

This historic holiday celebrates the day in 1824 when women decided they simply wouldn't take it anymore.

Arlington National Cemetery Is Running Out of Space

The nation's most prominent military burial ground is projected to run out of space as soon as the early 2040s. That may lead to a tightening of restrictions on who is eligible to be interred there.

4 Totally Random Things People Drop on New Year's Eve

Times Square may be iconic for ringing in the new year by dropping its ball, but plenty of other locales drop stuff, too, like, say, a giant bologna. Or an onion.

How Hazing Works

Hazing is traditionally associated with college pranks, but it's gotten deadlier over the past two decades. It's also spread to high schools and other institutions. What accounts for this increase and why do people allow themselves to be hazed?

Korea's Haenyeo Female Freedivers Brave Freezing Waters and a Changing Culture

The tradition dates back centuries, but an aging population of workers and dwindling profits endanger the free-diving culture.

What Sets the Katana Apart From Other Swords?

There's more to the samurai blade than its cinematic drama, and the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast digs into the history and science behind the sword.

Why Americans Are So Crazy About the Flag

The United States flag fetish can seem surprising, confusing or even just quaint to outsiders. Where does it come from?

Why Do British Lawyers Still Wear Wigs?

Known as a peruke, the formal wig has been a tradition for centuries. But why did barristers start wearing wigs? And why does it persist into modernity?

Japan Celebrates 20-Year-Olds With Massive Annual Party

Turning 20 means Japanese youth gain the responsibilities and rights of adulthood, including voting and drinking alcohol. How do they mark the occasion?

How Norwegian Traditions Work

Vikings, Norse gods, monarchs, Christian saints and even the land itself: Norwegian traditions have many sources. So do you know riskrem from russ?

How Moroccan Traditions Work

The idea of Morocco may invoke images from "Casablanca," but the 1942 movie isn't necessarily reflective of the area's history or traditions. What don't you know about this compact country in northwestern Africa?

How Mexican Traditions Work

Mexico has a long and storied history that spans nearly six centuries and combines many European and indigenous influences. We'll discuss many of this colorful country's most beloved and unique traditions.

How Italian Traditions Work

Italy is famous for many things: its food and wine, its art and architecture, its music and dance. However, most people don't know about the regional diversity that defines Italian tradition. Find out more here.

How German Traditions Work

Beside brats, beer and Oktoberfest, how much do you know about German culture and traditions? Learn more about this fascinating culture in this article.

How Chinese Traditions Work

China is both the largest country and arguably the oldest continuous civilization in the world. As such, it has rich and diverse traditions.

How Japanese Traditions Work

OK, so you've heard of their sushi, samurai and social etiquette, but how much do you really know about Japanese culture? Find out what makes Japanese traditions so, well, Japanese, in this article.

How French Traditions Work

There are plenty of stereotypes floating around out there about French culture, from baguettes to bad attitudes, but what's the real scoop? Find out in How French Traditions Work.

How Russian Traditions Work

Russian culture might conjure up stereotypical images of vodka and political strife, but of course, Russian traditions are much more rich and complex than that. Find out what makes Russian culture tick in this article.

How Indian Traditions Work

India's culture has stood the test of time by remaining diverse, colorful and spiritual. And it's the combination of rich traditions, family unity and faith that makes India, well, India.

How Spanish Traditions Work

Many of Spain's culinary, musical and artistic customs took root centuries ago, and still thrive today. So what makes the country so distinct and full of flavor?