9 Stories

Hundreds Take Part in 'Horrible' New Year's Day Tradition

Freezing temps didn't stop Coney Island's Polar Plunge from happening

(Newser) - The sky was sunny and the water was freezing at Coney Island, where several hundred people, cheered on by hundreds more, ran into the ocean Monday to mark the start of 2018. While some dressed in dinosaur or penguin outfits, others wore nothing but underwear or bathing suits at the... More »

Safety Issues Kill Fabled UK Cheese Roll

Too many spectators for centuries-old event: authorities

(Newser) - A centuries-old tradition of rolling 7-pound wheels of cheese down a steep hill in the British town of Brockworth has fallen victim to modern concerns over safety, with authorities canceling this year’s event, scheduled for May 31, over fear of injury to competitors and spectators. Last year’s event... More »

Run-DMC's Christmas Jam Made Rap American

Enmeshing the genre with America's one real tradition sealed the deal

(Newser) - If Christmas is one authentic American effort to create traditions in a nation that has mostly imported them, Christmas music is about as American as it gets, writes Morgan Meis on the Smart Set. “When you do the Christmas song you are solid, you are in the club,”... More »

The Perils of Opening an Indian Restaurant—in India

Pan-Indian cuisine struggles to curry favor with regional tastes

(Newser) - Modern Indian restaurants bent on messing with millennia-old recipes must "coax Indians into accepting the changes they make with beloved dishes," or continue to face the wrath of the "Authenticity Police," writes Shoba Narayan in Gourmet after an evening spent analyzing the paneer at Bangalore's upscale... More »

World's Weirdest Festivals

Oddball traditions say plenty about a culture

(Newser) - Forget museums and street markets. To truly understand a culture, travelers should take in its bizarre traditions. From fire walking to tomato hurling, Travel and Leisure looks at the world's most off-the-wall celebrations.
  • Lopburi Monkey Buffet in Thailand: Each November, Lopburi's residents lay out a feast to appease the city's
... More »

No Octopi for Wings Fans, Seller Says

Pittsburgh fishmonger wants 'to see the Penguins win, period'

(Newser) - Red Wings fans, save room in that suitcase—it may be tough to buy an octopus in Pittsburgh next week. One steel-town fishmonger refuses to sell octopi to Detroit fans once the Wings-Penguins Stanley Cup finals kick off on Saturday. In a tradition spanning more than 50 years, Detroit fans... More »

British Judges Not Happy to Ditch Their Wigs

Lawyers, also hirsute by tradition, could be next, though change has foes aplenty

(Newser) - The sun may never set on the British Empire, the saying goes—so bald judges might want to watch out, as some are being forced to give up their customary wigs in October, the Los Angeles Times reports. They're also getting new robes by a designer associated with “funky... More »

Did You See What the Pope Is Wearing?!?

Benedict brings back vintage papal styles; Catholics wonder why

(Newser) - Benedict XVI is wearing some pretty flashy, and pretty old-school, outfits, and pope-watchers the world over are atwitter, the Washington Post reports. Unlike his predecessor, who “would just wear whatever was given to him,” the current pontiff is reaching into a closet that dates back hundreds of years,... More »

Evangelicals Turn Back to Ritual

Some adopt previously shunned confession, communion, Lent

(Newser) - Evangelical Christians are increasingly turning to long-shunned traditions as a means of practicing their faith, reports the Washington Post. In a trend some call “worship renewal,” some are reviving Catholic customs such as fasting for Lent, going to confession, and weekly communion. “Evangelicalism is coming to point... More »

9 Stories