There are many things that we do in our lives that are actually ancient or old traditions which we are unknowingly continuing. Let’s be honest, when was the last time you questioned why we as a society carry out certain rituals or traditions? Most of us just accept that this is the way things are and yet there many traditions which have rather curious backgrounds. Here then are just a few of the tradition which we actively continue, potentially without ever really knowing why.

Wishing on Birthday  Candles

Whenever you get a birthday cake it is widely expected that you blow out the candles, make a wish and then keep it a sworn secret from everyone. Whilst the tradition of cakes and candles can actually be traced back to Ancient Egypt, the blowing out tradition comes from 18th Century Germany. This was the first time that cancels were used to represent number of years of age, and there would be one extra placed to represent the hopes of the coming years. The children would blow out the candles and make a wish.

Greek Paddles

The Greek paddles have a long history but it is their use in fraternities that is the most puzzling. The assumption is that ever since the fraternities took on the monikers of letters from the greek alphabet, the paddles came with them. Sorority paddles and fraternity paddles are used to offer gratitude or to welcome someone into the fraternity. These wooden paddles with greek lettering on them can be found throughout frat houses and sorority houses across the country.

New Year’s Day Cuisine

Eating black-eyed beans and cornbread has become a custom for many to celebrate the new year and it is something that is simply accepted. The notion behind eating such food comes from the Civil War era when they decided that the beans would represent coins and the bread would represent gold, giving the sense of a year of prosperity on the horizon.

Rice at Weddings

Whilst the rice has given way to paper confetti in recent years, there are still many people who help a new couple celebrate their life together by throwing dry rice at them. The idea for throwing the dried goods at the happy couple comes from the idea of showering them with fertility and good fortune, quite what is fortunate about being pelted with the grains remains to be seen. The culture is practiced in many countries around the world and despite the arrival of paper, rice will still continue to be a popular missile choice.

Coins in a Fountain

From Rome to Rio there are thousands of people each and every day who throw away their pennies in the hope of a fountain bringing them luck. This tradition has been traced back thousands of years to when people thought that they could invoke the gods through the water if they paid them some cash, and in return they would be smiled on by the gods.

What is the weirdest tradition that you know of? Let us know in the comments below this post.