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Tradition News

Beija Flor crowned Rio carnival winners with dig at corruption

Rio De Janeiro - Traditional samba school Beija Flor was crowned winner of the Rio carnival Wednesday after a performance that portrayed politicians as rats with money-stuffed briefcases in sharply political parades.

Worsening Ethiopian drought threatens to end nomadic lifestyle

Addis Ababa - Down a sandy track past a desiccated animal carcass lies a cluster of half-built huts that Ethiopia's government and aid agencies hope will blunt the worsening toll of repeated droughts.

Camels left pouting as Saudis ban botox at beauty pageant

- Huddled together on a dusty racetrack, Saudi judges scrutinise pouty lips and shapely humps in a high-stakes camel beauty pageant mired in scandal after botox and cosmetic fillers were detected.

Ethiopians throng streets for Christian Orthodox festival

Addis Ababa - Under a blazing sun, a procession carrying a replica of the Ark of the Covenant marched on a path of red carpets through the streets of Ethiopia's capital, sending believers to their knees in reverence.

In Oman, an ancient mediation method gets a makeover

Ghala - Omani Mahmoud bin Yousef Temtemi found himself in a pastoral predicament this autumn -- his neighbour's flock of sheep had overrun his farm and gobbled up his crops, threatening his income.

Rio counting down to carnival under party-pooper mayor

Rio De Janeiro - Rio's annual carnival is seen as a money-making extravaganza for the city. But evangelical Mayor Marcelo Crivella isn't a fan and slashed funding for next month's parade, forcing samba schools to cut their cloth accordingly.

British panto brings a contemporary twist to fairytales

London - A figure styled as Donald Trump is booed off stage by a rowdy audience enjoying the thrills of British pantomime, bringing a contemporary twist to traditional fairytales.

'Christ Child', Austria's Christmas village

Christkindl - Traditionally in Austria, and elsewhere in Europe, it's not Santa who gives out the gifts but the "Christkindl" ("Christ Child"). And in the village actually called Christkindl, it's busy right now.

In Finnish Lapland, tourists fill Santa's sack with cash

Rovaniemi - In the run up to Christmas tourists from around the world flock to the Santa Claus Village, an amusement park in Finnish Lapland, where temperatures can hit nearly -15 degrees Celsius (5 Fahrenheit).

Party time in the cemetery as Bolivians fete skulls

La Paz - Some wear glasses. Others have sombreros and a cigar. These are Bolivia's "natitas" -- human skulls with miracle-working powers.On Wednesday thousands of people and their skulls converged on La Paz's oldest cemetery as part of a pre-Hispanic tradition....

Tribes, tradition stand in way of Iraq police

Baghdad - Policeman Ahmad regrets the day he detained a motorist at a checkpoint for possession of a gun without a licence, bringing the weight of Iraqi tribal customs down on his head.

Nepal's feared demon dancer dances again

Kathmandu - Kathmandu's feared Demon Dancer finally performed again after a two-year break at this year's Indra Jatra festival, an annual celebration that marks the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the harvest.

In Chinese community, one-night stands are getting old

- Nimble after years of practice, Trinley Norbu is used to hoisting himself three stories up the side of a stone house and through the window for a one-night stand in his southwest China community.

S.Africa circumcision ritual: a dangerous route to manhood

Umtata - Naked, covered in white clay mud, and with his penis wrapped in leaves, Abongile Maqegu, 20, sits in a hut in South Africa recovering from his circumcision -- a traditional ritual that can prove fatal.

Chinese deities end SE Asia luxury tour

Singapore - A statue of a Chinese goddess that became a social media sensation after being pictured flying business class for a Southeast Asian tour has headed home after putting her feet up at a premium airport lounge in Singapore, organisers said Monday.

Thousands in Cuzco celebrate Incan festival of the sun

Cusco - At the highest point of the Coricancha temple in Cuzco at dawn, an indigenous actor interpreting a ceremony of the ancient Inca raises his hands to receive the sun's first rays.

Gripping tales lure war-weary Syrians to Damascus cafe

Damascus - With a slender sword in one hand and an antique storybook in the other, Ahmad al-Lahham captivates a packed Damascus coffeehouse with tales of ancient kingdoms and brave conquerers.

Cardinal cut: Italy's tailor to the stars of the Church

Rome - Raniero Mancinelli cannot afford to drop a stitch. Pope Francis is creating five new cardinals next week and the race is on to have their scarlet robes ready in time.

Hawaiian canoe comes home after epic round-the-world odyssey

Los Angeles - A traditional double-hulled canoe has returned to Hawaii after concluding a three-year epic journey around the globe, the first trip of its kind by such a boat.

At the end of the world in Chile, a culture on the brink

Puerto Williams - Just outside the southernmost settlement in the world, an 89-year-old woman is the last native speaker of her people's ancient language and struggling to ensure she does not take it to her grave.

Dutch clog-makers hoping to put a stamp on the future

Rixtel - Just decades ago there were thousands. Now only about 30 Dutch clog-makers remain, fighting to save a dying craft with the wooden shoes more often found today as fridge-magnets rather than footwear.

What's in a Chinese name? Ancient rites and growing business

Bejing - In a one-room shop tucked inside a Beijing alley, a bearded 74-year-old fortune-teller in crimson tunic offers what Chinese parents have sought for centuries: an auspicious name for their newborn.

What's in a Chinese name? Ancient rites and growing business

Bejing - In a one-room shop tucked inside a Beijing alley, a bearded 74-year-old fortune-teller in crimson tunic offers what Chinese parents have sought for centuries: an auspicious name for their newborn.

What's in a Chinese name? Ancient rites and growing business

Bejing - In a one-room shop tucked inside a Beijing alley, a bearded 74-year-old fortune-teller in crimson tunic offers what Chinese parents have sought for centuries: an auspicious name for their newborn.

Iran pre-nups land thousands of men in jail

Tehran - When Sadegh married his college sweetheart, he never thought he'd end up as one of those Iranians facing ruin and even prison because of huge sums demanded by his wife's family.

Mexico firework village parties again after tragedy

Tultepec - A Mexican village specializing in making fireworks that was devastated by a deadly pyrotechnic explosion moved to put the tragedy behind it with a spectacular fiery fiesta.

Motorcycle pilgrims pay homage to Guatemala's 'Black Christ'

Guatemala City - Some 30,000 motorcycle-riding Catholics left the Guatemalan capital Saturday on a pilgrimage to the eastern city of Esquipulas to venerate the so-called Black Christ.

Russians plunge into freezing water for Epiphany

Moscow - Hundreds of thousands of Russians braved freezing temperatures to plunge into lakes and rivers on Thursday, a wintry tradition observed during the Orthodox celebration of Epiphany.

Spain readies for Epiphany under unprecedented security

Madrid - As Spain readies to celebrate Epiphany Thursday with hugely-popular parades, authorities have implemented unprecedented security measures such as banning trucks from Madrid and Barcelona to avoid attacks like those in Berlin and Nice.

Uganda charges tribal king, 151 others with treason

Kanpala - A Ugandan tribal king and 151 others have been charged with treason for allegedly seeking to overthrow the government, their lawyer said Wednesday.
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Pope Francis  one of many personalities to become  caganers  in Catalonia  Spain for Christmas 2013.
Pope Francis, one of many personalities to become "caganers" in Catalonia, Spain for Christmas 2013.
Andersonville Prison from   Andersonville Diary  Escape and List of the Dead    by John L. Ransom. P...
Andersonville Prison from ''Andersonville Diary, Escape and List of the Dead'', by John L. Ransom. Published: September 29, 1882