Category Archives: Non-religious Holidays & Festivals

Pumpkins and Halloween: Jack o’lantern origins

When you start seeing pumpkins showing up in unusually copious amounts everywhere, you can safely bet that Halloween is round the corner! But what’s with all the pumpkins? And how did the whole Halloween pumpkin carving / Jack-o’-lantern tradition start?

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Mothering Sunday: Britain’s History of Mother’s Day

If you’re British or are familiar with British customs, you’ll know that in the UK there is a different date for Mother’s Day celebrations than in the States. What’s more, traditionally the British day of celebration is not known as … Continue reading

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Birthday Song History: Why do we sing the “Happy Birthday to you” song on birthdays?

The Happy Birthday song is one of the most widely sung songs in the world. But when did the tradition of singing this merry tune begin? The answer is around the late 1890s to early 1900s, but the story is … Continue reading

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History of Valentines Day: Why do we celebrate Valentines day?

Valentine’s Day is almost a worldwide phenomenon, celebrating romance and love every February 14th. In spite of celebrating it, many of us don’t really know the origins of Valentine’s Day nor why it’s celebrated. What is the history of Valentine’s … Continue reading

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Unusual New Year’s Traditions from around the world

Most of us associate New Year’s Eve with fireworks, parties, a New Year’s kiss at midnight, and maybe a little bit of crossing arms and singing Auld Lang Syne. In other parts of the world, New Year traditions are a … Continue reading

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Why do we celebrate Boxing Day?

As December 25th draws to an end, many of us  have another day to recover from all that Christmas excitement: Boxing Day. Why do I have the day off on Boxing Day?

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Why do we sing Auld Lang Syne on New Year’s Eve?

Auld Lang Syne is world famous for two main reasons: It’s famous for being sung on New Year’s Eve in English speaking countries around the world, from the USA, to the Philippines, Zimbabwe, India and to Singapore. It’s famous for … Continue reading

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Why do we have the New Year’s Kiss?

You’re at a New Year’s Eve Party about to ring in the New Year. It’s almost midnight. You look around for who you’ll be kissing at midnight… but wait! Why do we have this tradition of kissing someone at midnight … Continue reading

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