An anthropologist explains why we all have some irrational beliefs and the reason they give us comfort.
Halloween was virtually nonexistent in South Korea until about a decade ago. But commercialization is taking popular holidays to unlikely places across the globe.
A folklorist explains how Halloween continues an ancient Celtic tradition of the celebration of the dead.
Instead of displaying myths, Samburu rock art reveals real-life stories and is made as a leisure activity.
As late as 1970, only about 5% of Americans chose to be cremated. In 2020, more than 56% Americans opted for it.
An anthropologist explains the power of purification rituals, such as bringing down a building following a tragic occurrence in it, and why they help reduce our anxieties.
Widows in Nigeria are still exposed to harmful practices.
A scholar of Greek classics revisits the texts to bring lessons on how to honor the lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A folklorist explains the prehistoric origins of the mythical Easter Bunny and why this longstanding cultural symbol keeps returning each spring.
In Southeast Asia, Songkran is a time to celebrate the coming year with water fights, honoring elders and offering prayers.
Green burial is not a new concept, but it is gaining interest among consumers, and some religious groups are leading the way. A theologian explains what’s involved and who natural burials appeal to.
An anthropologist of Japanese religion met followers of Shinto religion online and found how they were building a community and sharing instructions on practice.
An exhaustive reassessment of the brutal ritual challenges the received wisdom that the ‘blood eagle’ was a medieval invention.
Every president since Jimmy Carter has recognized Hanukkah with a special menorah lighting ceremony.
Laws and rituals surrounding disease have been part of everyday life for millennia. Here’s why that’s important.
Samhain will be particularly poignant this year for Wiccans who are members or veterans of the US military as they process the end of the 20-year war in Afghanistan.
When the 5,300-year-old mummy of Ötzi the Iceman was found 30 years ago, researchers found 61 tattoos on it. A scholar explains how tattoos have been a sacred part of many cultures across the world.
Mary has acquired popularity among celebrities of late. A religion scholar writes about how for nearly 2,000 years, the mother of Jesus has been viewed as an exemplar by different Christian groups.
A scholar of ancient Greek literature explains what the Olympics of modern day have in common with the 776 B.C. games at Olympia.
Many people are starting to celebrate the return to a pre-pandemic life. How does that feel to those who have suffered losses and are still grieving?