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Foreign Celebration: Man Down (Russia)

Looking to the Soviets for some drinking inspiration?   Try “Man Down”, a traditional Russian drinking blowout. This tradition arose out of the heavy drinking culture that has long permeated Russian society. In 1540, Tsar Ivan the Terrible raised government money by creating a state monopoly on vodka production, opening government-run vodka bars called kabaks. In 1716, Peter the […]


Foreign Celebration: ¡La Tomatina!

Ever wanted to take a food fight to the next level?     La Tomatina is a Spanish tomato-throwing festival that is held yearly on the last Wednesday of August in Buñol, Valencia, Spain. This rager started in 1945, when during an unrelated parade, onlookers threw tomatoes at local animals to discourage their eating watermelons. One person accidentally […]


Australia Day

Australia. Land of ex-convicts, marsupials, oversized snakes and spiders, UGGs, the outback, and endless beaches. So, what’s their annual tradition?   The biggest holiday in Australia is—you guessed it—Australia Day. Celebrated each year on January 6th (their summertime), this public extravaganza commemorates the 1788 arrival of the first British fleet to New South Wales. Though […]


Foreign Celebration: Holi – The Original “Life In Color” (Hindu)

The “Life in Color” experience is actually an offshoot of an ancient Hindu celebration called Holi. Holi is meant to celebrate the end of winter and beginning of spring. It is also known as the festival of color or love. The celebration is broken into two days. The first takes place at night along a […]


Foreign Tradition: Irish Wake

Do you use alcohol to cope with stress, unpleasant news, or just general sadness? Then an Irish wake is the perfect way to spend one night to start the mourning process of a dearly departed friend or family member.  For many of us, death is a saddening experience filled with crying and depression. The Irish […]


Foreign Celebration: Kidnap the Bride (Romani/Gypsies)

The Romani (“gypsies”)—not to be confused with Romanians—have a peculiar centuries-old tradition. To begin the married life, the groomsmen or bridesmaids kidnap the bride-to-be by whisking her away during the wedding day in a vehicle. The kidnapping entourage head to a hideaway spot, where they unload and take good-humored “ransom” pictures of the bride and […]


Foreign Celebration: Polterabend

Have a friend with a tendency to break things? This German matrimonial custom will let that inner klutz shine. Polterabend (from poltern, or “making noise”; and Abend, or “evening”) is a one night German wedding porcelain-breaking tradition dating back to pre-Christian times. The Germans have long believed that shards bring luck (Scherben bringen Glück), since a full jar was associated […]