Rituals & Celebrations

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Essay/Stories & 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

Idea/Rituals & Celebrations

How to get your kicks in the hermit kingdom of North Korea

Laya Maheshwari


The night when straight white males tried to kill disco

Hadley Meares

Video/Sports & Games

Even before kick-off, Milan’s San Siro stadium is an awe-inducing spectacle

6 minutes

Idea/Nature & Environment

Winter is a time of regeneration: we’ll miss it when it’s gone

Bernd Brunner

Idea/Social Psychology

People are intensely loyal to groups which abuse newcomers. Why?

Christopher Kavanagh


Ghosts and ghouls haunt the living with a message about life

Thomas W Laqueur

Idea/Stories & Literature

Here’s to the lost art of lying down

Bernd Brunner


From the king’s touch to the princess’ hug: on magical royalty

Anna Whitelock

Idea/Rituals & Celebrations

How the village feast paved the way to empires and economics

Brian Hayden

Video/Sports & Games

Thrill to the motorbike hellriders who make their living on the wall of death

9 minutes

Idea/Rituals & Celebrations

Why we need to bring back the art of communal bathing

Jamie Mackay

Video/Mood & Emotion

The true meaning of the match is clearest on the face of the diehard fan

5 minutes

Video/Rituals & Celebrations

The Japanese festival that’s one of the world’s most spectacular – and dangerous

2 minutes

Idea/Rituals & Celebrations

How human sacrifice helped to enforce social inequality

Joseph Watts

Essay/Ecology & Environmental Sciences

It’s not easy being green

If rational persuasion fails to make people behave environmentally, could rituals and a dash of guilt do a better job?

Stephen Cave & Sarah Darwin

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations

Smoking with friends

Life can be a lonely journey. But at your local cigar bar, all the guys know your name – or give you a new one altogether

Mark Teich

Video/Rituals & Celebrations

Creepy masks, boozy baths and chicken chases: the mayhem of Courir de Mardi Gras

11 minutes


A fake of art

Museums display perfect reproductions of fragile works and visitors can’t tell the difference. Is nothing in art sacred?

Noah Charney

Idea/Philosophy of Science

Chess is not a sport but a game. So what’s the difference?

David Papineau

Idea/Political Philosophy

Why I never want to dress up in black tie again

Julian Baggini

Idea/Values & Beliefs

Convert me! Why proselytisers are good for civilisation

Mark Oppenheimer

Essay/Family Life

Korean Thanksgiving

‘Take a photo of the spread,’ my mother says. ‘This way you can remember what to arrange when I’m dead.’

Mary H K Choi

Video/Social Psychology

Freedom, fantasy, family – the sundry allures of the American Renaissance faire

9 minutes

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations

Great pretenders

Live-action role-play is venturing into some weighty social topics. Can make-believe really show us possible worlds?

Alexa Clay

Idea/Love & Friendship

A temporary marriage makes more sense than marriage for life

Vicki Larson


Head to head

Michelangelo and Raphael; Leibniz and Newton; Constable and Turner. Does every creative genius need a bitter rival?

Jacob Burak

Video/Family Life

How a group of women from the Pacific Islands find redemption on the rugby field

4 minutes


Greek villagers fire thousands of rockets in an annual ‘war to keep the peace’

6 minutes

Video/Values & Beliefs

An Ojibwe deer hunter takes nothing for granted, considering each act sacred

5 minutes