Cultures & traditions

Capoeira | Strange dances from around the world

Capoeira | Strange dances from around the world

As anyone who’s seen the video for Smooth Criminal knows, the line between dancing and fighting can occasionally become blurred – violent scenes in action movies are sometimes described as balletic, for example, and it’s impossible to “mosh” to heavy metal without someone getting a bloody nose. However, nowhere is the boundary between a boogie and a beating as unclear as it is in capoeira.

Baraja española: Spain's confusing playing cards

Baraja española: Spain's confusing playing cards

Playing cards are an essential part of any holiday – whether you’re waiting hours at an airport or spending a rainy week in a caravan, there’s almost always an opportunity to get the cards out for a quick game. However, next time you’re cheating your way to a solitaire victory, spare a thought for any bored Spanish holidaymakers – they have to fill their time with an entirely different (and entirely confusing) set of playing cards.

The North Korean mass games

The North Korean mass games

At one time or another, every country in the world will hold a parade. Often these parades will be used to celebrate a successful national sporting team. Sometimes, a country will arrange a parade to mark a royal wedding. In a small number of countries, a parade might involve painting the words “Death to America” on the side of a giant rocket and then wheeling it down the High Street. North Korea is one of those countries.

5 folk tales from around the world

5 folk tales from around the world

It’s story time! Every country has their own folk tales – stories that have been passed down through generations, usually involving some kind magic or sorcery, and representing a moral code or a life lesson. I assume each story says something about the psyche of the nation it comes from, so make of these what you will! I’ve given my verdict at the end of each story. Please let us know what you think though!

May Day celebrations throughout Europe

May Day celebrations throughout Europe

In Britain, the words “May Day” conjure up images of men morris dancing (ie jumping around with wooden sticks and bells on their knees), girls dancing around a 10-foot ribbon-adorned pole and the election of a May Queen. However, our European counterparts celebrate the day in many different ways…

5 very unusual sports from around the world

5 very unusual sports from around the world

Welcome, sports fans, to a trip round some of the world’s most unusual games. Whatever it is you look for in a sport (athletic ability, fierce competition, dead goats), you’ll find plenty of it here. Some of these sports may seem crazy to us in Britain, but as our national sport is just an unnecessarily complicated version of kicking a ball around the park, we’re really in no position to judge.

5 Easter traditions from around the world

5 Easter traditions from around the world

Spring has sprung, apparently, and Easter is on its way. In the UK, we know the Christian festival of Easter is coming because there are Creme Eggs in the shops, and it becomes socially acceptable to gorge yourself on chocolate, provided it’s in the shape of an egg, a rabbit or a chick. However, other countries have some more interesting Easter traditions and customs.

8 wedding traditions from around the world

8 wedding traditions from around the world

In the UK, we have loads of wedding traditions, such as the bride wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, the throwing of the bouquet and the playing of Come on Eileen during the reception. We did a little bit of research and found out that other countries had some interesting wedding customs too.