The torch relay from Olympia began at the 1936 games in Berlin; devised by Carl Diem as a propaganda ploy for the Nazis, it afterwards became an Olympic tradition. In ancient Greece, a fire was lit by the sun and burned until the close of the games. The practice of maintaining an Olympic flame was revived at the 1928 games in Amsterdam.Continue Reading
The Olympic flame is the fire that is kept burning from the beginning to the conclusion of the Olympic Games, and the Olympic torch is the vessel by which the flame is transported from the birthplace of the Olympics in Olympia, Greece, to the site of the current games. According to the International Olympic Committee, the flame represents the purity and positive values associated with fire.
Several months before the opening ceremony of the games, the flame is lit by the light of the sun in Olympia, Greece, using a parabolic mirror. At the Temple of Hydra, 11 women representing vestal virgins perform the ceremony. The torch makes a short relay tour of Greece, and then after a ceremony in Athens begins its journey to the host city. Usually there is not one torch, but many. For the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, there were 14,000 torches and 14,000 runners. The torches have traveled by foot, bicycle, horseback, camel, canoe, plane and many other conveyances to some of the most remote parts of the Earth. For the Sochi Olympics, torches went to the world's deepest lake in Siberia, the North Pole via nuclear-powered icebreaker, the top of Mount Elbrus, Russia's highest peak and the International Space Station.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions
The modern tradition of passing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween is likely based on the medieval custom of "souling" on All Souls' Day. Early Christians made currant-topped desserts called "soul cakes" to honor their dead on All Souls' Day, and children would walk from house to house singing for the cakes. The children agreed to pray for the dead relatives of each person that gave them a soul cake.Full Answer >
Bonsai Tree Gardener reports that the tradition of passing a bonsai tree from one generation to the next is rooted in the length of time it takes to sculpt the shrub. It is also a result of the bonsai's tendency to live for several hundred years.Full Answer >
Though the exact roots of the tradition of calling a ship a "she" are lost to history, theories range from the practice of crafting female figureheads for a ship's prow to the dependent relationship that sailors had with their vessels. There are a number of other potential explanations as well.Full Answer >
In India, gender roles are determined largely by sex, religion, oppressive tradition and culture, according to LifePaths360.com. The male-dominated culture calls for subordination of women.Full Answer >