The Most Amazing Facts About World Culture, Religion and Traditions.
- Legal experts say that every year, about 12% of the U.S. population is arrested.
- The warriors tribes of Ethiopia used to hang the testicles of those they killed in battle on the ends of their spears
- The Chinese typically eat as a family. Chopsticks ("pick up small pieces") are used because they give one a longer reach. They are hygienic, efficient, and well designed to allow diners to pluck tiny delicacies from large serving platters.
- In early England, a traditional Christmas dinner included the head of a pig prepared with mustard.
- It is illegal to be a prostitute in Siena, Italy, if your name is Mary.
- The Amayra guides of Bolivia are said to be able to keep pace with a trotting horse for a distance of 100 kilometres.
- Q-tips were invented by Polish-born Leo Gerstenzang. The Q stands for Quality.
- During New years, in Spain, at 12:00, spaniards will try to eat 12 grapes before the colck sops chiming.
- The authorities do not allow tourists to take pictures of Pygmies in Zambia.
- Sokushinbutsu were Buddhist monks or priests who allegedly caused their own deaths in a way that resulted in their being mummified. This practice reportedly took place almost exclusively in northern Japan around the Yamagata Prefecture.
- Karate first started in India and spread to China before reaching Japan in the 1600s.
- Before it was stopped by the British, it was the not uncommon for women in some area's of India to choose to be burnt alive on their husband's funeral pyre.
- The Anglo-Saxons believed Friday to be such an unlucky day that they ritually slaughtered any child unfortunate enough to be born on that day.
- There are more than 5,662 written Han Chinese surnames.
- The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified kosher.
- In 1647 the English Parliament abolished Christmas.
- In many Asian countries such as Papua New Guinea, the toilet as it is known in
Western countries is nonexistent. Instead, the porcelain bowl is set flush with the floor with footholds
on either side. One must squat in order to use it properly.
- The Dutch in general prefer their french fries with mayonnaise.
- Ukrainian Christmas trees are often decorated with a fake spider and web. Whoever finds the web on Christmas morning is bestowed with good luck.
- About 1/2 of American men enjoy money more than sex.
- A eunuch is a castrated man; the term usually refers to those castrated in order to perform a specific social
function, as was common in many societies of the past.
In ancient China castration was both a traditional punishment (until the Sui Dynasty)
and a means of gaining employment in the Imperial service. At the end of the Ming Dynasty there were
70,000 eunuchs in the Imperial palace. Certain eunuchs gained immense power that may have superseded
the prime minister. Because of this self-castration had to be made illegal. The number of eunuchs in Imperial employ had fallen to 470 in 1912, when their employment ceased
- In China, the Five Confucius Bonds are foundations of society consisting of the relationships of emperor-subject, father-son, husband-wife, elder brother-younger brother, and friend-friend, with the first half of each pair being the superior figure.
- Children in Vietnam may be named as in order of birth. The first born may be named Ca (big/biggest), and the second Hai (number two) Ba (number three) and so on.
- According to tradition, passengers of the train passing over the Jamuna river in India, should give tribute to the river by throwing coins in it.
- In Ancient Peru, when a woman found an 'ugly' potato, it was the custom for her to push it into the face of the nearest man.
- In China, eggs represent fertility. A charming custom is giving hard-boiled eggs, dyed red, to show happiness as birth announcements.
- Coffee is the second largest item of international commerce in the world. The largest is oil.
- There are over 200 religious denominations in the United States.
- In India, a jug and the left palm take the place of toilet paper, while in Indonesia, one might grow a long fingernail on the left hand for this purpose. Perhaps that is why bowing is a customary greeting in many Asian countries instead of the handshake.
- The biggest Hershey's Kiss ever made weighted 400 pounds.
It was a promotion to introduce the people of Hong Kong to Hershey products.
- In Bahrain, a male doctor may legally examine a woman's genitals, but is prohibited from looking directly at them during the examination. He may only see their reflection in a mirror.
- Chinese families often have nicknames for members at home such as Bo (cow), Tho (rabbit) and Gau (bear) so that evil spirits are not attracted to the child.
- Americans purchase an estimated 20 million pounds of candy corn for Halloween each year.
- St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was not Irish.
- In Tibet, it is considered polite to stick out your tongue at your guests.
- The women of the Tiwi tribe in the South Pacific are married at birth.
- Dueling in Paraguay is legal as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
- Caged birds are often seen on sale in the cities of Vietnam, not to be kept as pets, but for followers of Buddhism to buy, and release into the sky, thus earning them extra merit in life.
- The penalty for masturbation in Indonesia is decapitation.
- The Navajo Indian language was used successfully as a code by the US in WWII.
- In Thailand the honeymoon lasts three months and is is up to the bride to cover all the expenses.
- Salt is the most widely used seasoning in the world.
- In Albania, nodding your head means no and shaking your head means yes.
- July 7th-14th is the time when you'd better stay out of the streets in Pamplona, Spain. A herd of fighting bulls are let loose onto the streets, after a crowd of young men. A lot of injuries occur during this famous fiesta. The aim of the runners is to feel the breath of the bull on their backs, that is why they try to get as close as possible while avoiding the sharp horns.
- The women of an African tribe make themselves more attractive by permanently scaring their faces.
- It's against the law to stare at the Mayor of Paris.
- Chinatown in San Francisco is the largest Chinese community outside of Asia.
- In Lekeitio, Spain the is a strange ritual called "The Day of The Goose" in which men pass on a boat and try and grab a goose which is hung above the river by its neck while plunging in the water.
- Many sailors used to wear gold earrings so that they could afford a proper burial when they died.
- Akebono, the sumo wrestler superstar from Hawaii, weighs 516 pounds.
- In Norway, people hide their brooms on Christmas Eve to ward off witches looking to take them for a spin.
- The Toltecs, Seventh-century native Mexicans, went into battle with wooden swords so as not to kill their enemies.
- There are men in Guam whose full-time job is to travel the countryside and deflower young virgins, who pay them for the privilege of having sex for the first time. Reason: under Guam law, it is expressly forbidden for virgins to marry.
- Hindus don't like dying in bed, they prefer to die beside a river.
- During the time of Peter the Great, any Russian man who wore a beard was required to pay a special tax.
- In China, the dark shadows forming a face on the moon are seen as
"the toad in the moon," not "the man in the moon."
- Some very Orthodox Jew refuse to speak Hebrew, believing it to be a language reserved only for the Prophets.
- Sending a red Christmans card in Japan is considered bad manners because usually funeral notices are printed in red.
- According to beliefs in Poland, swallowing a willow catkin from a branch consecrated by a priest would bring good health.
- There are 450 types of cheese in the world, and 250 come from France.
- Vietnamese legends state that the Vietnamese are descended from a dragon lord,
Lac, and an immortal princess, Au Co, and that all Vietnamese are related to each other.
An early name for Vietnam was Au Lac, reflecting the country's origins.
- In parts of Malaya, the women keep harems of men.
- The active ingredient in Chinese Bird's nest soup is saliva.
- In some areas of Italy, they forego the Christmas tree and decorate a small wooden pyramid, called a ceppo or "tree of light", instead.
- The Great Wall of China is the largest construction project ever undertaken by man, and its stones could build an 8-foot wall around the world at the equator.
- In Hong Kong, a betrayed wife is legally allowed to kill her adulterous husband, but may only do so with her bare hands. The husband's lover, on the other hand, may be killed in any manner desired.
- Widows in equatorial Africa actually wear sackcloth and ashes when attending a funeral.
- Every day, Americans eat an estimated 18 acres of pizza.
- In Cali, Colombia, a woman may only have sex with her husband, and the first time this happens, her mother must be in the room to witness the act
- It was quite common for the men of Ancient Greece to exercise in public .. naked.
- Native American Indians used to name their children after the first thing they saw as they left their tepees subsequent to the birth. Hence such strange names as Sitting Bull and Running Water.
- The Matami Tribe of West Africa play a version of football, the only difference being that they use a human skull instead of a more normal ball.
- Donald Duck comics were banned from libraries in Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
- The magic word "Abracadabra" was originally intended for the specific purpose of curing hay fever.
- Iceland is the world's oldest functioning democracy.
- In Vietnam most people rise by 5:30 am, many exercise or go to the market, then begin work about 7-7:30 a.m. Everyone stops for lunch around 11 a.m. and families go home to eat together, then relax and enjoy a siesta during the heat of the day. Work commences around 1:30 p.m. and finishes around 4:30 p.m.
- in Thailand, as the foot is the lowest part of the body it is held in the lowest esteem. To point a foot at someone is extremely insulting. Likewise, as the head is the highest part of the body, it is never touched directly by others for this is considered an insult. This only applies to adults.
- The Turk's consider it considered unlucky to step on a piece of bread.
- The word "taxi" is spelled the same in English, German, French, Swedish, and Portuguese.
- In Lebanon, men are legally allowed to have sex with animals, but the animals must be female. Having sexual relations with a male animal is punishable by death.
- During the seventeen century , the Sultan of Turkey ordered his entire harem of women drowned, and replace with a new one.
- The most common surname in the world is Li, and about 87 million people have it.
- In the Czech Republic, single women go out on Christmas Eve day and toss shoes.
With their backs to the door, they throw one of their shoes over their shoulder.
If the shoe lands with the heel facing the door, she'll find herself single for another year. If the shoe lands with the toe facing the door, it means she should start making wedding plans.
- The Imperial Throne of Japan has been occupied by the same family for the last thirteen hundred years.
- South American gauchos were known to put raw steak under their saddles before starting a day's riding, in order to tenderise the meat.
- Muslims are banned from looking at the genitals of a corpse. This also applies to undertakers; the sex organs of the deceased must be covered with a brick or piece of wood at all times.
- The Ise Shrine in China is dedicated to Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess It is rebuilt every twenty years.
- Richard II died aged 33 in 1400. A hole was left in the side of his tomb so people could touch his royal head, but 376 years later some took advantage of this and stole his jawbone.
- It was the custom in Ancient Rome for the men to place their right hand on their testicles when taking an oath. The modern term 'testimony' is derived from this tradition.
- Sati is an ancient culture that existed amongst the Hindus in India, where a woman would throw herself on her dead husband's funeral fire thus killing her self from being burn alive. It was considered an honorable act and the widow was believed to enter straight into heaven, as a reward for her sacrifice. She became a goddess and statues were built in her honor.
- Traditional Chinese opera has a history of more then 800 years. There are more then 300 different operatic forms in China.
- Used in almost every Vietnamese dish, nuoc mam is a liquid drained from salted, fermented fish and then seasoned into a sauce
- In Czek Republic during Christmas, little boats are made out of empty walnut shells and each family member places a little burning candle into a shell. Everyone's shells are then floated on a bowl of water. If the shell makes it across the bowl, its owner will live a long and healthy life. A shell that sinks brings bad luck to its owner.