Halloween is one of the most popular days of the year – when revelers dress up in clever costumes and gorge themselves on candy and delicious fall treats. It is not just another modern holiday, however. It can be traced back over 2,000 years to a supernatural Celtic festival called “Samhain.”
When people think of jack-o’-lanterns, they usually think of bright orange pumpkins, lit by candles that shine out of cleverly carved faces. It may come as a surprise that the term “jack-o’-lantern” was first used to describe people.
Día de los Muertos, or “Day of the Dead,” is a multi-day celebration of all five senses. Contrary to the somber tone that its name implies, the holiday is treasured in Mexican culture as an opportunity to honor the dead while celebrating the joy of life.
At the fork of the Ohio and Big Sandy rivers in Kenova, West Virginia, former mayor Ric Griffith and his small army of volunteers spend three weeks every year designing, scooping and carving 3,000 pumpkins. After the carving is done, the volunteers decorate the front of Griffith’s Beech Street house and yard with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes.
Before the 19th century, most prisons were filthy, corrupt, and disorderly. They offered lawbreakers little chance to reflect and “repent” of their wrongdoings since prisoners were too busy trying to avoid disease, starvation, and abuse. The Eastern State Penitentiary, located in the residential Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, was designed to remedy the ills of the prison system and offer inmates a chance to be “penitent” for their crimes.
For centuries, the Kulung people in eastern Nepal have harvested the honey from the Himalayan honey bees. Not a remarkable feat, except for the fact the harvesters must scale the sheer cliffs of the Himalayas – hundreds of feet or more – to reach the hives.
Vlogger Li Ziqi lives a simple life in the idyllic countryside of Mianyang in southwest China’s Sichuan Province. She has gained fame on Youtube for her beautifully detailed videos that demonstrate traditional Chinese recipes and crafts.
An ancient art dating back thousands of years, tattooing, has helped to shape and show the history behind each civilization and culture. Though tattooing evolved independently throughout various countries, it holds a similar meaning for each culture: the art of story-telling through keeping an ancient tradition alive.
The islands of the Bahamas are rich with culture and history, preserving traditions that date back hundreds of years. One of the most renowned, both in the Caribbean and around the world, is the national festival known as “Junkanoo.”
Off the island of Crete in Greece, the crumbling remains of Spinalonga Island hold the secrets of a castaway colony from long ago. Spinalonga was initially constructed as a fortress to protect the Port of Olous in the early 1700s. With its steep walls and impenetrable defenses, it remained under Venetian control long after the Ottomans conquered the rest of Crete.