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Do You Know the History of These Common Customs?
by John Miller
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For thousands of years, we humans have cultivated a vast array of habits that guide our social norms. These customs give us a foundation for daily life and in special times of celebration, grieving, and accomplishment. Do you really know anything about the history of customs around the world?

Some customs are so common we hardly even think about them. In the United States, for example, people often greet each other with handshakes. In Europe, however, cheek kissing is a preferred greeting. Do you understand why these societies developed these particular habits?

Religion, of course, dictates many of our routines. In many countries, women must cover themselves head to toe in special garments. Yet in the West, this practice is almost unheard-of. Do you recall just why that might be?

On Christmas Eve, American kids leave cookies and milk for Santa Claus. And on Easter Morning, children wake up with expected gifts from a magical bunny. On Halloween, they don scary (or funny) costumes and stalk the night for treats. All of these traditions have some root in history.

Take our common customs quiz now and see if you know why we humans do these strange and silly things. Maybe you’ll know exactly how the high-five greeting came to be, or maybe you’ll be crushed in the running of the bulls!

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