Questions tagged [tradition]

Questions related to the history of traditions, whether of religious or cultural or military or political or other other aspects of societal categorizations. For best results, use this tag in conjunction with other more descriptive tags for disambiguation.

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Were people buried in the 19th century with a cloth around their head if so why?

Question in almost EVERY version I have seen of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol", the ghost of Jacob Marley is shown with a cloth bound tightly around his head, keeping his jaw shut. My ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When and why did blue become the colour of the British Conservative Party?

In Britain at Elections Conservative Party candidates always wear blue rosettes and Conservative posters usually feature the colour blue, so that even if someone does not stop to read the poster they ...
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10 votes
1 answer
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What murals and decor might have been present in the earliest Sumerian temples?

So, for the sake of a production I'm working on a lot of digital artwork meant to represent a slightly-fantastic, but based in fact, representation of ancient Sumeria. Think 5000 years+ ago; dawn-of-...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Did soldiers ever use wooden pillows to hear attacks?

I remember reading somewhere that since sound travels way faster through the ground as compared to air, soldiers back in the day used wooden pillows that were hard. So if the enemy started marching in ...
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2 votes
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What is the origin of white mourning clothes in African-American culture?

I've noticed that in pictures from the funerals of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, a large number of attendees are wearing white. I've found a few resources online that suggest this is a ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Was the Kingdom of Nri truly pacifistic?

I have been reading about the Kingdom of Nri, a political entity that lasted from medieval times to 1911. It was apparently pacifistic and saw violence as an abomination on Earth. However, it is ...
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1 answer
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Flag flying dynamics

How many flags are allowed to be on one pole? Is a flag ever flown up side down at half-mast, more than 1 and why?
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Tradition of Boxing Day [closed]

In Australia we have a public holiday on 26th of December and call it Boxing day. Why is it called Boxing Day? Boxing day is a tradition held each year the day after Christmas in the Commonwealth.
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is/was it an Indonesian tradition or custom to drink your victims' blood?

In Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence (2014) (sequel to The Act of Killing [2012]), at least two of the killers speak (rather casually and openly) about drinking the blood of victims. They said ...
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9 votes
3 answers
551 views

Since when and why do some academic publishers use, prefer or enforce endnotes instead of footnotes

When reading academic books of a certain size the usage of endnotes in those is killing me and my productivity. That is practically part of the definition: Footnotes are notes at the foot of the ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Why do we clink glasses and say cheers?

Is it true that in Medieval Times kings used to invite other king for a feast and poison other king's drink? this became so prevelant that the guest king would clink his glass with the host king's ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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When was the first sauna on a ship?

Heat baths or sweat lodges such as the Russian banya and the temescal of the Mesoamericans are common around the world, especially where it gets cold. These insulated, purpose-built structures are ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Has any real-world culture actually included a "Life Debt" tradition?

A common trope in fiction is the "life debt," wherein two characters become "bound together by a bond of oath" because one has saved the other's life. We consumers of media have seen this concept of ...
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7 votes
2 answers
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Origins of "Still on patrol"

I recently came across an article about a tradition of USN not to consider submarines lost, but rather being on a permanent patrol. After trying to find more information about the topic pretty much ...
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6 votes
1 answer
522 views

What name was given to this ancient Roman custom involving a broken pot to show a pact between individuals?

I remember reading of a custom in the Roman Republic where a pact could be sealed between individuals with a broken pot, or wax tablet, whereby the pieces could be later be reassembled to show this ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Who were the Deer Touchers?

About 20 years ago I read an article in a periodical (can't remember which periodical) about a tribe of natives (I believe they were North American) who had a tradition of touching live deer. They ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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What's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve?

With the new year right around the corner, I got wondering: what's the historical origin of drinking champagne on New Year's Eve? How did it become such a global trend? Where did this trend originate ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Which side of the Atlantic does the jack-o'-lantern come from?

There is an often-repeated 'fact' that although the pumpkin is an American plant, the Jack-o-Lantern tradition is an older Irish tradition (e.g., in today's Washington Post) in which turnips were ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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When did the parole of prisoners of war become unacceptable?

Prisoners of war in earlier centuries, especially officers, could be given temporary or permanent freedom in return for various conditions: A parole. This overlaps with the modern civilian use of ...
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28 votes
3 answers
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What is the earliest known account of the modern military salute?

The military salute, made with right hand to head of a soldier, seems to be a European tradition, however it is adopted by many armies in the world. What are origins of this gesture? I came across a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Where did the masquerade ball come from and what was its original concept?

I mean a kind of party which guests and hosts hide their faces behind different masks or/and wear odd clothes. Surely there is no certain idea about main concept with me unless perhaps it has roots in ...
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5 votes
2 answers
355 views

'Sub rosa' council meetings

Wiktionary's etymology of the term sub rosa reads: The rose's connotation for secrecy dates back to Greek mythology. Aphrodite gave a rose to her son Eros, the god of love; he, in turn, gave it to ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What's the story behind Christmas?

Looking at this question I see the tradition of Christmas presents, but where did the tradition of Christmas itself come from? Also, what's with the Christmas tree and Santa (or Kris Kringle)?
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6 votes
2 answers
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Where does the tradition of Christmas gifts comes from?

Where does the modern tradition of exchanging gifts from Christmas comes from? I've heard that it's inspired by a similar tradition the Ancient Romans had on one of their festivals, is that true?
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17 votes
2 answers
738 views

Why did people in some countries start to drive on the right?

Most people are right-handed and it seems natural that people used the left hand side of the road when riding horses or simply walking. In case of conflict a weapon could be easily put between you and ...
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23 votes
8 answers
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What cultures did, or do, perform human sacrifice on a regular basis?

Looking at the Area 51 commitment page, I realized that some of the questions that were originally suggested there never got asked here, so I thought I'd add some of them. Something else I would like ...
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14 votes
2 answers
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In medieval times, were captured nobles always ransomed?

Was watching the directors cut of Kingdom of Heaven, and one of the scenes had an actor playing what seemed to be a nobelman stating that he is according the privilege of ransom. While I remember that ...
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