World Eskimo-Indian Olympics

The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics is a gathering in Fairbanks, Alaska, of Native people from throughout the state and Canada to participate in three days of games of strength and endurance. Events include the popular blanket toss, which originated in whaling communities as a method of tossing a hunter high enough to sight far-off whales. Also on the program are a sewing competition, a seal-skinning contest, Native dancing, and such events as the knuckle-hop contest, in which contestants get on all fours and hop on their knuckles. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Soul Train

Soul Train was an American musical show that aired more than 1,000 episodes from 1971 to 2006, becoming the longest-running, first-run, nationally-syndicated program in television history. Created by producer Don Cornelius, its first host, Soul Train featured performances by soul, rhythm-and-blues, and hip-hop artists and has been described as the American Bandstand of the African-American community. What celebrities got their start dancing on Soul Train? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Asanha Bucha Day

Celebrated in Thailand on the first full moon of the eighth lunar month, Asanha Bucha Day marks the first public sermon given by Buddha, which took place at Deer Park in Benares, India. The day also marks the beginning of Vassa, the Buddhist lent period also known as the Rains Retreat. Ceremonies are held in Buddhist temples throughout the country, and elaborate wax candles are lit and kept burning throughout lent. On this day, townspeople will put flowers into their bowls instead of food, and the monks offer these flowers at the temple in honor of the Buddha. Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Sumptuary Laws

Sumptuary laws are laws directed against overindulgence or extravagance in diet, drink, and dress based on social, religious, or moral grounds. Historically, these statutes often varied according to rank and were mainly used to mark class distinctions and prevent people from assuming the appearance of a superior class. They were also used to stigmatize disfavored groups, who could be required to wear identifying apparel. How rich did one need to be to wear a belt in the Massachusetts Bay Colony? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

Yudu Nal

Yudu, which means “washing one’s hair in flowing water,” is a tradition that goes back to the Silla period (7th-9th centuries) in Korean history. It has been the custom on this day to go on picnics near a moving body of water, a stream, river, or waterfall, and to bathe and wash one’s hair. Folklore has it that doing so will ward off fever and other heat-related ills. In any case, swimming in a cool stream is a refreshing way to beat hot summer weather. In modern times people also call this activity mulmaji, “greeting the water.” Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary

The Diving Bell

The diving bell was an early diving submersible used for underwater exploration, sponge fishing, and salvaging sunken cargo. It consisted of a bottomless chamber connected to a compressed-air hose that would both refresh the air inside the chamber and maintain enough pressure to keep water from filling it as it descended. In the 16th century, inventor Guglielmo de Lorena created and used what is considered the first modern diving bell. What 4th-century philosopher first described such a device? Discuss

Source: The Free Dictionary