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ceremony

Performing an offering ceremony to Pachamama in the Andes region of Peru. Source: Yuri - Supay / Adobe Stock

The Traditional Offering Ceremony of the Andes: How to Maintain Balance Between the Material and Spiritual Worlds

In traditional Andean cosmovision, the natural world and the divine are united, and offering ceremonies are seen as a part of the reciprocity system between the material and spiritual worlds...
Over 100 objects have so far been recovered from the Neolithic cemetery which were apparently used for piercings. Source: Ergül Kodaş, Emma L Baysal & Kazım Özkan.

Early Neolithic Ceremonies in Turkey Found to Include Facial Piercings

Something unexpected from the early Neolithic has been found in Turkey. During excavations in an ancient cemetery, a team of archaeologists from several institutions unearthed more than 100 small...
Sumerian priestess. Source: Oleksandr / Adobe Stock.

Sumerian King Iddin-Dagan Copulated with a Priestess in a Public Annual Ritual

In the annals of history, we have witnessed a myriad of unique, and at times, bizarre traditions that have defined civilizations and their leaders. One such tradition that stands tall in its peculiar...
Dancer at a traditional Theyyam ceremony, India. Source: Dietmar Temps / Adobe Stock.

How Artists Are Keeping the Ancient Practice of Theyyam Alive (Video)

In Kerala , a state nestled in the southern part of India, the age-old tradition of Theyyam persists, defying the relentless march of time. This ritualistic form of worship, deeply ingrained in the...
Egyptian Zar ritual (Asghar Besharati / CC by SA 4.0)

Rhythms of Possession: Egypt's Mysterious Zar Exorcism Tradition (Video)

The ancient 'zar' ritual of Egypt is a captivating and enigmatic cultural practice that dates back centuries. Rooted in ancient beliefs and folk traditions, the zar ceremony is performed to exorcise...
The celebration involves giving 3 cows to the Spanish. Source: U. J. Alexander / Adobe Stock.

640 Years of Unity: Honoring Europe's Oldest Peace Treaty (Video)

In a remote part of the Pyrenean foothills, where Spain borders France , a centuries-old ceremony commemorates a treaty that is believed to be one of Europe's oldest international agreements still in...
Living with the Dead: Corpses Dressed Up in Indonesian Tradition (Video)

Living with the Dead: Corpses Dressed Up in Indonesian Tradition (Video)

The Torajan people, living in Sulawesi, Indonesia, have a unique funeral tradition . According to their beliefs, a person isn't truly dead until water buffalo have been sacrificed at their funeral,...
Portrait of young Native American woman. Source: designprojects / Adobe Stock.

Apache Girls Face Tests of Endurance in Rite of Passage (Video)

The Mescalero Apache reservation in New Mexico holds a time-honored rite of passage for its young girls every Fourth of July. The four-day ritual involves a series of tests that challenge the girls'...
The coronation of Charles VII of France (1429), detail of the painting Jeanne d'Arc (1886–1890) by Jules Eugène Lenepveu. Many ancient coronation traditions will be recreated in the coronation of King Charles III. Source: Public Domain

King Charles III’s Coronation: A 900-Year-Old Ceremony in the Modern Day

Cominh this weekend, King Charles III’s coronation will be the 39th coronation ceremony of a British monarch at Westminster Abbey. It is an ancient ritual that dates back over 900 years and is the...
Star Carr deer bone mask (Trustees of the British Museum / CC by SA 4.0)

The Mystery of the Ritualistic Deer Bone Mask, a Mesolithic Marvel (Video)

The Star Carr archaeological site, located in the North of England, has yielded some of the most remarkable discoveries in recent times, providing insight into the lives of Mesolithic people. One of...
Detail of a painting depiction the Sati of Ramabai, the wife of Madhavrao Peshwa the ninth Peshwa of the Maratha Empire who reigned from 1761 to 1772. Source: Public domain

Sati Widow-Burning: A Dark Chapter in Indian History

Sati, the practice of a widow self-immolating on her husband's funeral pyre, remains one of the most controversial and emotive issues in South Asian culture. While some view it as a sacred funerary...
A traditional burial site in Tana Toraja, whose culture is known for elaborate funeral rituals. Source: fabio lamanna / Adobe Stock

Elaborate Funeral Rituals and Exhumation of the Dead in Toraja Culture

The unforgettable Tana Toraja is a regency located in the picturesque mountains of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. This region is home to the indigenous Torajan people, whose way of life is deeply...
King Charles III’s coronation is set to be an understated affair. Source: Maksym Yemelyanov / Adobe Stock

King Charles III Modernizes Coronation and Strips Back Ancient Traditions

When King Charles III is crowned in June 2023, the accompanying ceremony will be a decidedly streamlined affair and will strip back a lot of the ancient traditions it usually entails. This is in...
The crowning ceremony of the Clan Buchannan chief was laced with recreated artifacts and symbols from ancient Scottish history. Source: The Clan Buchanan Society International

Scottish Clan Has a First New Chief Since 1681

The ancient Scottish Clan Buchannan has been without a leader since the 17th century. Now, the rightful heir to the clan has been crowned chief in a ceremony dripping with archetypes from Scottish...
Firewalking over hot coals. Source: Tatyana / Adobe Stock

Hot Trot: The Fascinating Ancient Practice of Firewalking

If you’ve ever seen firewalking in person or online, you may have been amazed by the control and skill of individuals performing such a risky act. Since ancient times, the ability to walk barefoot...
This alligator in San Pedro Huamelula, Oaxaca, Mexico is about to be “married” to the mayor! Source: YouTube screenshot / SCMP

Mexican Mayor Weds Alligator in Colorful Ancient Indigenous Ceremony!

The mayor of the Mexican town of San Pedro Huamelula, in the state of Oaxaca, has just done something pretty extraordinary. In a special wedding ceremony steeped in deep traditional beliefs, Mayor...
The Hellenistic tomb of a woman found in the Kozani region of Greece. Source: Kozani Ephorate of Antiquities

Hellenistic Elite was Buried on a Bronze Bed with Gold in Her Mouth

Ancient tombs are fascinating finds, especially when they’re intact. They can provide us with clues on how a person died, social status, burial styles, and funerary rites. The last of these is...

The Evil Eye in the Mediterranean: How to Avert Accidental Envy

The ancient Mediterranean belief of the evil eye still has its adherents today. Those who have the “eye” are thought to give bad luck unintentionally to anything or anyone that they are envious of...
The ceremonial circle was found at an agricultural site occupied for thousands of years. Source: BBC / Albion Archaeology

Sacred Farming: Huge Monument Find Showcases Neolithic Earth Worship

Archaeologists excavating near the village of Biddenham in Bedfordshire, England, have uncovered several ancient structures dating back 6,000 years. But most recently, a huge ritualistic monument has...
The Route to Secular Art through the Kwakiutl Hamatsa Dance

The Route to Secular Art through the Kwakiutl Hamatsa Dance

“Magic preceded art, art served magic, and art was then liberated from magic.” This was among a number of sometimes controversial assertions made by Scottish anthropologist James Frazer in his 19 th...

Machu Picchu Re-opens With Ancient Incan Thanksgiving Ceremony

Major archaeology and cultural sites are starting to re-open across the world. Machu Picchu, one of the most famous archaeological sites in all of Latin America, has reopened with the spectacle of an...
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1,000-Year English Tradition Goes Online for First Time in History

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted daily life around the world. It has also interfered with many historic traditions and ceremonies . A 1000-year-old swearing-in of a sheriff was not able to take...
A horn blowing ceremony in Ripon, England. Source: Grove House Bed and Breakfast

1100-year-old Horn Blowing Ceremony Continues Despite Coronavirus

Daily life has been heavily disrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19 or coronavirus . However, one British town is determined to carry on as normal as possible. They are committed to continuing a...
Grianan of Aileach ring fort, Donegal, Ireland.

Where the Fairies Dwell: Irish Ringforts in Our World and Theirs

A cloud of mystery looms over the ringforts that speckle the countryside of Ireland. More than 45,000 ringforts have been documented throughout Northern Europe and yet little is known about the date...

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