Rio De Janeiro Carnival

Yes its a mouthful to say but when the Guinness book of world records considers it by far the largest carnival the name stays. Click here for more on the biggest carnival in the world with storify.

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3, 2, 1… Happy New Year!

2014 isn’t just a number, for the Chinese calendar, 2014 is also the year of the horse. The Chinese New Year besides being a very important holiday for the people of China, is based on a traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This simply means rather than having a leap year with an extra day, they have an extra month. An extra month causes the Chinese New Year to fall on a different date each year. Below is a slide show of the animals used in a single 12 year cycle.

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Images from BlazeTBW

I’d like two husbands please

If you thought dealing with one husband tough, how would it be with two or even three. When a woman takes multiple husbands it is known as polyandry. Though not as common as a man having multiple wives it is not as rare as I once thought. In the United States, Jaiya Ma is in a poly-amorous relationship. She lives as a family with two men and a child they had together.

Below is a National Geographic video on Cinidas life in the Himalayas with 3 husbands.

Green shamrock to Green beer

Saint Patrick, born in 5th century Great Britain was kidnapped by Irish raiders and taken as a slave to Gaelic Ireland. After escaping slavery, he would later return as a priest and become the patron saint of Ireland.

The 17th of March St. Patrick’s Day began in the United States. The custom of wearing the green shamrock said to have been used by St. Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity. Today, it has become a celebration involving green beer, parades, and even a green river. It spans many countries including Japan, Argentina and the Switzerland. Below are 25 little facts about St. Patrick’s Day so its not just a day of drinking.

You can’t drink it yet

Making a coffee addict wait for their first cup of morning coffee is rarely a good idea. Well, luckily this isn’t about waiting for coffee. You will be waiting for tea. Japan is a country rich in traditions. The more i learn about these proud people the more i want to immerse myself in their culture. The Japanese tea ceremony, also called Chanoyu is more than sipping tea. It is a precise rendition of a ritual centuries old. With simplicity and elegance, serving and drinking tea becomes an affair of peace and calm lasting hours. An alien idea in this hasty era we live in. An idea i think would do us some good.  This ceremony is not unique to Japan. It is practiced in some form in other Asian countries. But,you might not be able to leave for Asia. Don’t fret, there might be a tea shop near you. In Vancouver Canada, the 05 tea bar offer the tea ceremony experience as can be seen in the video below.

Parade Floats carried not driven

In the city of Viterbo located in Italy, its people credit Santa Maria Rosa with saving their city from disease in the 1600’s. The La Macchina di Santa Rosa is a celebration in honor of Maria. The tradition also entails a tower weighing five tons to be carried by local men. One hundred men known as Facchini train throughout the summer to fulfill this role. The tower itself is amazing and brightly lit as it makes its way through the city.

I just call it ‘snow’

Born in the tropics, the only interaction i had with snow was through books and the window of a television. Happily that changed when we moved. For those who had a chance to experience snow as a kid you can imagine the wonder and amazement i felt. Later i’d learn there’s a culture who have over 50 words for snow! The Inuit, commonly called Eskimos in the United State, live in the arctic regions of Greenland. With snow all around them I can understand why they’d have so many but i think i’ll stick to just snow. Here’s a comic frame from Language Log reminding us we too have a lot of words for one thing.