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Rituals and celebrations


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Architecture Art Biography and memoir Cultures and languages Dance and theatre Design and fashion Film and visual culture Food and drink Home Music Nature and landscape Rituals and celebrations Sports and games Stories and literature Subcultures Travel
Essay/
History
Medieval parasites

People in the Middle Ages took great care over cleanliness – except the clergy, who accepted filth as a sign of devotion

Katherine Harvey

Essay/
Anthropology
Did laughter make the mind?

A psychological relief valve and a guard against despotism, laughter is a uniquely human – and collective – activity

Chris Knight

Essay/
Rituals and celebrations
Daily grace

Everyday rituals are ephemeral prayers, a hint to the gods for protection, encircling life like a fragrant garland

Jay Griffiths

Essay/
Rituals and celebrations
The scents of heaven

Frankincense and myrrh have long links to the sacred. Why has Christianity viewed them with both fascination and suspicion?

Timothy Carroll

Essay/
Anthropology
Relics of power

From the foreskin of Jesus to the scarf of Elvis: why humans cannot resist the magical potency of charismatic objects

Jesper Sørensen

Essay/
Gender
The transcendent bissu

In Indonesia, high ritual power is held by those whose identity goes beyond female and male. The West is just catching up

Sharyn Graham Davies

Essay/
Religion
Not your Tibetan Buddhism

Behind the beatific image of Tibetan Buddhism lies a dark, complicated reality. But is it one the Western gaze wants to see?

Mark Hay

Essay/
Rituals and celebrations
Who first buried the dead?

Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behaviour is very ancient indeed

Paige Madison

Essay/
Rituals and celebrations
Mrs Myself

Self-marriage promises love and fulfilment – but is it a radical act or a depressing concession to self-absorption?

Polina Aronson

Essay/
Stories and literature
The truth about tarot

Whether divining ancient wisdoms or elevating the art of cold reading, tarot is a form of therapy, much like psychoanalysis

James McConnachie