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Fascinating Traditions around the World

Updated on February 22, 2015

You'll Never Go Hungry Again

Ancient tombs constructed by Romans all throughout their Empire display a common Roman belief that the dead require sustenance in order to remain content in their peaceful state. Coffins were built with an intentional opening over the head of its inhabitant. Once a hole was dug, a pipe was to be connected to the opening, and would provide a small passage to the surface. Through this route, families could drop all kinds of food directly onto the face of their relatives to be consumed.

This practice was not mandatory, and it’s a good thing too. If every grave had been constructed this way, there would not be substantial remains for scientists to study and knowledge of ancient people would be lost. Probability suggests people of the lower class would not be able to spare extra food to gift upon their relatives. And if you were rich, you could be buried in a grand tomb, that would most likely have substantial amounts of food enclosed within it.

Romans were not the only ones who believed that cravings stopped with your heart. Ancient Egyptians are notorious for burying their Pharaohs and nobles with all their luxurious possessions, food, and even intricate boats that were believed to be necessary for crossing a river into the afterlife. A staple to Egyptians at the time, honey is considered to be one of the extremely few foods that never spoil. Tombs that have been untouched for thousands of years have contained stored honey that is still declared edible.


All Spiders Welcome

While a cat or dog is considered a suitable creature to share your home with, spiders and other bugs are normally not accepted indoors. However, Ukrainian Christmas tradition provides a rare opportunity for spiders to feel the love, their intricate and shimmering webs decorating the Christmas tree. Most people are content with ornaments and lights, but this exclusive decorating idea is derived from an old legend.

The story goes that an extremely poor family living in the woods continuously struggled to get by. Christmas was never much of a celebration due to financial issues and the children of the family learned to make joy out of unpretentious means. The family struggled, but managed to remain fed and healthy. One day, a bird flying overhead dropped a pinecone seed into the backyard of their meager dwelling. This seed took root, and the children meticulously cared for the sapling and were overjoyed at the prospect of having a Christmas tree for the first time during the holidays. They spent months fantasizing about how they were going to decorate the tree when the time for Christmas finally came.

Months passed, and the tree was finally harvested, but the children’s mother brokenheartedly told them there was simply no money to spare for decoration. The children were upset, but took joy in the beauty of the tree anyway. Christmas Eve night, spiders that inhabited the house wove their silk all over the branches of the tree. The next morning the family was amazed and in awe of the silk shining like silver in the morning sun. Ever since, the legend was considered a miracle, and many families in Ukraine decorate their tree with real spider silk.


Eight Waters You Must Cross

At Butler University, education and athletics are a main focus. Although college seems like it may become endless hours of studying and lectures, students always seem to band together to make their stay some of the most memorable (and possibly most expensive) years of their life. Many colleges have different traditions and hazing procedures, but at Butler, it is popular for students to run through at least 8 of the fountains on campus before they graduate… in their birthday suit.

If public nudity isn’t your thing, never fear because there is a long list of other recommendations to choose from. This list of must-dos-before-graduation advises students to splurge on a spring break getaway in Fort Lauderdale and attend Frat parties. College on, America. Some popular fountains to conquer are Norris Fountain, and even a fountain located inside the school library. The hashtag “#8beforeyougraduate” was coined by the school to encourage undergraduates to attend 8 seminars and other school organized activities before they leave. The students, however, utilized this particular hashtag for their own purposes.


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Till Death Do We Part (if I feel like it)

Ancient Mongolian horsemen of northern Asia performed their own unique wedding rituals, including the obstacle of the groom having to send traditional gifts like sugar, wine, and tea leaves at specific times in order for his proposal to be accepted. A party is held to celebrate the upcoming wedding where the groom is challenged by the bridesmaids to prove his worthiness by completely breaking a sheep’s neck. The unfortunate groom might find this task extremely difficult, because the bridesmaids have most likely already rigged the neck with a metal rod. The swindled groom will have to endure teasing for the rest of the night.

The Mongolian culture was a complete aberration from its Chinese neighbors and most nations at the time in the aspect of its regard for women. In marriage, the woman was usually eldest of the pair and was regularly consulted by her husband for advice. Women were not considered to be inferior to men and were deemed venerable for their child-bearing responsibilities. They could inherit property, file for divorce, and remarry.

The traditional German Santa did not have reindeer to pull his load.  He had to walk the whole world in one night.
The traditional German Santa did not have reindeer to pull his load. He had to walk the whole world in one night. | Source


For all Christians, Christmas is undoubtedly the most important holiday of the year. No matter where they live or how their culture celebrates, all people of this faith can connect to each other during this season. In Germany, Christmas is a magical time, immersed in culture and many fascinating traditions. Magic is in heavy presence, causing many changes to ordinary life. In fact, celebration is so intense; there would be no time to complete it all if festivities did not begin on the 6th of December.

Legends tell of powerful magic that sweeps over the land on Christmas Eve night. Rivers turn red and run currents of expensive wine, gems rise from the ground, and animals meet in the forest to talk to each other. Such high tales are told in order to keep children distracted while parents set up the Christmas tree, which kids are not allowed to witness until Christmas Eve.

Oh, and it’s basically a rule that you have to eat a lot of food (even grandma’s fruitcake) because if you don’t, you will be light enough for little demons to sweep you off your feet during the night. So no diets allowed. It’s a safety thing.


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