2 rival churches in Vrontados, Greece shoot tens of thousands of fireworks at each other every Easter in a “Rocket War”. Both churches then claim victory and agree to settle the score next year. The tradition dates back to the Ottoman era, when real cannons were used instead.
In Japan male students can confess their love to another person by giving them the second button from the top of their school uniform. The second button is the one closest to the heart.
There was a Roman priesthood whose job was to perform a specific dance and chant around sacred shields. Since this ritual was unchanged for centuries, later Romans had no idea what the ritual actually meant while still continuing the tradition.
In 1968, Canada gave a $3,500 grant to a 35-year old man in Vancouver “to revive the ancient and time-honored tradition of town fool.”
In Germany, Father’s Day is celebrated by groups of males going hiking with one or more smaller wagons filled with wine or beer and traditional regional food. Many use this day to get drunk, and alcohol-related traffic accidents multiply by three on this day.
NASA has a long standing tradition to wake up astronauts with a specially selected track of music each day, usually picked by friends or family members, called “Wake Up Calls”.
In Denmark, if you are unmarried at 25, you’ll get cinnamon thrown all over you on your birthday.
In Japan, fake food (called sampuru from the English “sample”) is a multi-billion yen industry. The replicas, which are made of plastic and typically cost 10 or 20 times the amount of the food they imitate, are mostly handmade by trained artists in an almost century-old tradition.
Groomsmen (specifically bridegroom-men) were originally at weddings to protect the bride from being kidnapped by another suitor.
In some cultures children were intentionally given names with unfavorable meanings like ‘ugly’ and ‘crippled’, as it was thought that this would make them less desirable to child-stealing demons.