Cultures & traditions

Strange currencies from around the world

Strange currencies from around the world

Foreign money’s a funny thing. I’ve recently returned from Iceland, where I had to hand over hundreds and hundreds of krona just for a small bottle of orange Fanta. On the plus side, however, I was for the first time in my life able to claim I had “several grand” in my wallet… My experience with the Icelandic krona inspired me to research other, far more unusual currencies, so here are some of my favourite finds.

Chinese New Year: The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac

Chinese New Year: The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac

Happy new year! No, this isn’t a post that we forgot to publish early last month; I’m talking about the Chinese New Year, which was yesterday. You might have seen lots of colourful costumes, dancing dragons and fireworks on the news. Or, if you’ve got a Chinatown nearby you, just round the corner. According to the Chinese calendar, we’re no longer in the year of the Dragon. We’re now in the year of the Snake. But why are the animals in the order they’re in? Well, gather round and I’ll tell you…

Tinsel | 7 Christmas traditions

Tinsel | 7 Christmas traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual, such as singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” to the Christmas pudding as it emerges, alight, into the dining room… (OK, so that’s a personal tradition, but I have only just found this out. I thought everyone did this up until last year!)

Mistletoe | 7 Christmas traditions

Mistletoe | 7 Christmas traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual, such as singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” to the Christmas pudding as it emerges, alight, into the dining room… (OK, so that’s a personal tradition, but I have only just found this out. I thought everyone did this up until last year!)

Holly | 7 Christmas traditions

Holly | 7 Christmas traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual, such as singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” to the Christmas pudding as it emerges, alight, into the dining room… (OK, so that’s a personal tradition, but I have only just found this out. I thought everyone did this up until last year!)

Sugar plums | 7 Christmas traditions

Sugar plums | 7 Christmas traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual, such as singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” to the Christmas pudding as it emerges, alight, into the dining room… (OK, so that’s a personal tradition, but I have only just found this out. I thought everyone did this up until last year!)

Crackers | 7 Christmas traditions

Crackers | 7 Christmas traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual, such as singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” to the Christmas pudding as it emerges, alight, into the dining room… (OK, so that’s a personal tradition, but I have only just found this out. I thought everyone did this up until last year!)

Pantomimes | 7 Christmas traditions

Pantomimes | 7 Christmas traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual, such as singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” to the Christmas pudding as it emerges, alight, into the dining room… (OK, so that’s a personal tradition, but I have only just found this out. I thought everyone did this up until last year!)

Poinsettias | 7 Christmas traditions

Poinsettias | 7 Christmas traditions

Christmas is a time of tradition and ritual, such as singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” to the Christmas pudding as it emerges, alight, into the dining room… (OK, so that’s a personal tradition, but I have only just found this out. I thought everyone did this up until last year!)

Unusual voting systems from around the world

Unusual voting systems from around the world

Just in case you didn’t already know (I mean, it’s not as if anyone’s mentioned it at all…), millions of Americans will today be voting for the guy they want to be their president for the next four years – the guy who’s already been doing it for the last four years, or the guy who hasn’t. So, not being immune to all this election fever, we decided to investigate unusual voting systems from around the world.