In Thailand, each day of the week has a color and a god who protects it. In the past, people would wear the color assigned to each day. Now most people just use their personal lucky color which is based on the day they were born.
The Wodaabe tribe from Chad has a courtship tradition called Gerewol. Men spend hours getting dressed to dance in front of the tribe’s women in hopes of being judged the most beautiful. Women from the tribe can pick who they want to get married to.
There is a Jewish custom called a “black wedding”: during a plague, two orphans get married in a cemetery, under a black canopy, with the community pledging to support the couple, so the souls of the deceased will intercede to stop the plague. This April, such a wedding was conducted in Israel.
In Argentina, the 29th day of each month is Gnocchi Day, with almost all families eating gnocchi. The tradition started because the 29th of the month was just before payday, so money was tight, and only potatoes and flour were left. For extra luck, everyone gets a peso under their plate.
In Ireland there is a popular tradition known as The 12 pubs of Christmas. You must go to 12 different pubs in one night, having one drink (most commonly a pint of beer) in each Pub. Participants usually have 12 rules to follow, e.g “No sitting in pub 3”, “No using the bathroom in pub 7” etc.
The Beidane people of northern Africa throw lavish parties for divorces as well as marriages. These events emphasize that divorce is not merely the end of a marriage but a transition to a new phase of life.
Mongolians have a tradition of giving unpleasant names to children born to couples whose previous children have died, to confuse evil spirits. Ex: Muunokhoi – “Vicious Dog”.
The US Navy has a tradition that no submarine is ever considered lost at sea. Subs that don’t return, including 52 lost during WWII, are considered “still on patrol.” Every year at Christmastime sailors manning communications hubs send holiday greetings to those listed as still on patrol.
Jolabokaflod is a Christmas Eve tradition in Iceland where friends and family get together to exchange books and then they all read them together while eating chocolate and drinking cocoa.
“Libations,” the practice of pouring out alcohol in memory of those who have “passed on” was common in Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. “Pouring one out for the homies” is a custom over 3,000 years old and is mentioned in the Bible, the The Iliad, and The Odyssey.
The “lucky cigarette” tradition of flipping a cigarette upside-down and saving it until the end of the pack originated from the myth that 1 cigarette in every Lucky Strike pack contained marijuana.
The Navajo have a tradition around celebrating a baby’s first laugh. Around three months, they watch the baby closely for that first real giggle. The person who has the good fortune of eliciting that first laugh is then responsible for throwing a party.