October 2016: Haunting Holidays Around the World

[Obon Festival, Japan; image source unknown]   Here in the USA, we celebrate Halloween on October 31. But did you know there are plenty of other festivals worldwide that honor the dead ? Curiously, a lot of them fall during well, the fall ! Harvest season is associated with death and rebirth across a variety […]

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January 2015: Hawaiian and Polynesian Curses

Image: Linny Morris Aloha ! With the chill of winter holding many of you in its icy grip, I thought it would be nice to warm you up with some legends of the South Sea Islands. Imagine yourself relaxing island-style, a Mai Tai in one hand, your sun glasses in the other. Flower-scented island breezes, […]

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December 2014: Ho Ho Huh ? The Pagan Origins of Our Favorite Christmas Traditions

Merry Christmas everyone ! Sorry to burst your eggnog bubble but as it turns out, most of our favorite Christmas traditions are pagan in origin. Many pagan festivals and traditions were carried over into early Christianity. In some cases, this was intentional. Rather than fight centuries of rural customs, the early church fathers sought to […]

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