Tag: Religion

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La Calavera Catrina: Mexico’s Lady of the Dead

Often referred to as the Grande Dame of Death, La Calavera Catrina (the “elegant skull”)—or, simply, La Catrina—is frequently seen throughout the streets of Mexico during the Day of the Dead, or Día de Muertos, celebrations. You’ve likely seen the face before: an eerie meld of macabre and charm; fear and poise. But from where did this deathly figure emerge? What does she stand for? And why has she become such a ubiquitous part of Mexican culture?

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Amish horse-drawn buggy

Gasthof Amish Village: Old World Oasis in the Hoosier Heartland

Life moves at a frenetic pace. It often feels impossible to hit pause on the obligations and distractions that come with modern life. One 92-acre village in the heart of Indiana is just the place to change all that. With its authentic Amish food, hospitality, and culture, Gasthof Amish Village is the perfect place for a weekend getaway to recharge and refresh.

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the Temple of All Religions in Kazan, Russia

Universal Temple: A Unique Meeting Place for All Religions

Russian architecture is a sight to behold, no matter the context. However, if you happen to find yourself along the banks of the Volga River in the proud republic of Tatarstan, you’ll be sure to notice an imposing and colorful building, festooned with balustrades and steeples, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And that’s as it should be. Because, quite simply, there is no building in the world like the Universal Temple.

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Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy products in their original composition

600-Year Old Pharmacy Sells Catherine de’ Medici’s Perfume

Just a stone’s throw away from Florence’s busy Santa Maria Novella train station stands a 600-year-old pharmacy that started as an infirmary. This establishment is renowned for creating sweet-smelling elixirs and skincare products that draw customers from around the world. Beyond selling modern-day perfumes and cosmetics, Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is a preserve of ancient monastic history and tradition. Read along to find out more about this unique, centuries-old pharmacy that may be the oldest in the world today.

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Merry cemetery detail

Merry Cemetery Offers a Whimsical Backdrop for Mourners

In the quaint Romanian town of Săpânţa, the local Merry Cemetery features a colorful tableau of more than 800 grave markers that manage to elicit emotions that are uncharacteristic of traditional burial grounds. Somber slate and graphite mounds are replaced with colorful wooden crosses—each depicting, in almost playful detail, the life and death of each of the town’s former residents.

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Scene from the 2004 romantic drama film "The Notebook," starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling as a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s.

A Brief History of Saint Valentine’s Day

Few patron saints have birthed polarizing legacies as lasting as Saint Valentine. Valentine’s Day, or Saint Valentine’s Day, is a recognized holiday, occurring each year on February 14, wherein lovers exchange gifts and indulge in pleasantries. Alternatively, the unattached are often left to feel castigated for their failures to find a partner. Whatever your thoughts on the occasion, Saint Valentine’s history is as important as it is fascinating and murky.