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Anthropology in Practice

Santa Traditions Around the World

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. "A merry Christmas." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed December 24, 2014.  Click on image for original link to collection.

Earlier this week, I shared a link on Twitter to a piece on Brain Pickings on how anthropologist Margaret Mead suggested we talk to children about Santa Claus: Belief in Santa Claus becomes a problem mainly when parents simultaneously feel they are telling their children a lie and insist on the literal belief in a [...]

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Food Matters

Three Men and a Baby: A Brief History of King Cakes


People report finding Jesus in the strangest ways; today, one of those ways might be in a cake. That’s because it’s Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, the last day to eat King’s Cake before Lent begins. The King’s Cake accompanies festivities to commemorate the Epiphany, the day the Magi (interpreted by some to [...]

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Food Matters

I’m Dreaming Of A White Christmas Dinner: Tracing The Anglo-Saxon Origins Of The Traditional Holiday Feast


In response to a piece in Slate by Aisha Harris, Fox News host Megyn Kelly recently declared that Santa Claus (along with Jesus) was a white man. Since Saint Nicholas, the ancestor of Santa Claus, was born in modern Turkey, Kelly’s assertion caused hullabaloo and humor: The Daily Show Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The [...]

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