Knocking on wood may be a holdover from the pagan days of Europe, when tree spirits were believed to bring luck.
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The curious history of a ritual meant to ward off bad luck.
Why do we eat chocolate bunnies at Easter? It’s a long story.
Easter is actually a mish-mash of different traditions celebrating the coming of spring.
A painting showing Saint Francis Borgia, a 16th century saint,, performing an exorcism.
Forty-five years ago, 'The Exorcist' terrified viewers with its portrayal of a practice that goes back several centuries and continues today in Christianity.
A Greek amphora showing athletes, 4th century B.C.
©Trustees of the British Museum. (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
The idea that the athletic contests – held in honour of the Greek god Zeus for over a thousand years – were shut down by a puritanical Christian emperor makes for a good story. But is it true?
Queen for a day.
Edinburgh will this year host the 30th Beltane.
A masked man gestures before the ISIL flag in a video released by Islamic State militants.
Militants are tapping into centuries-old literary tastes, appropriating them for their own nefarious ends.
The proposition that Easter is a 100% Christian affair is manifestly unsustainable.
The proposition that Easter is a 100% Christian affair is manifestly unsustainable. It shows an ignorance of history. Worse, it shows a failure to understand the way religious traditions work.
Modern vestiges of an ancient past.
Halloween these days calls pumpkins to mind, cackling witches, teenagers pulling pranks and scream masks. You probably know that all this derives from All Hallows’ Eve, the night before the Christian feast…