9 Strange Superstitions From Around the World

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Spirit House in Thailand

Thai homeowners will often place a spirit house (san phra phum) in the yard or garden of their home. These shrines take the form of elaborate miniature houses on a pillar, and are located in an auspicious spot near the building. These houses serve as a place to shelter the local spirits, who could cause problems if not properly appeased. Old spirit houses are never thrown away; they are moved to spiritually significant places like the grounds of a temple, or underneath a sacred tree.

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Lunar Eclipse in Nigeria

In Nigeria, a lunar eclipse is seen as a sign of God expressing displeasure towards his people. In 2001, a riot broke out as Muslim extremists attacked Christians during a lunar eclipse, seeking to punish them for their part in bringing God’s wrath upon the country. Five years later, a campaign was launched by the government to educate the people of Nigeria about the scientific reasons behind lunar eclipses, in hopes of preventing future attacks.

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Elves in Iceland

Even though contemporary Icelanders value modern conveniences and the latest technology, a study has shown that over 80% of native Icelanders believe in the existence of elves. Just recently, a proposed highway was rerouted to avoid certain areas where elves are believed to dwell. Many of the strange rock formations and natural wonders of Iceland are attributed to the work of elves, trolls, and other mythical creatures.



Culture Palate: Dishes from Ukraine

Typically, Ukrainian dishes are hearty, filling, and made with a variety of cooking techniques. In one dish, it’s not uncommon for cooks to have to boil or fry multiple ingredients before they’re finished together in the oven or in a bubbling stew. If you’re visiting Ukraine, make sure to check out some of these dishes. If you get a chance to taste them in their ideal form, you can easily recreate them at home.

14 Ways to Screw Up an International Trip

There are countless things that could go wrong on an international trip, and many of them are out of your control. However, there’s possibly an equal number of ways to screw up your trip, and unfortunately no one to blame but yourself.

Love Holidays from Around the World

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it’s tempting to rail against the North American traditions that lead us to stress about dinner reservations and spend all our money on chocolates every February 14th. However, we’re not the only ones with elaborate holidays that celebrate love.