Tag: cultural traditions

Decoratively stitched details on blue burkas lined up in a market. Burkas are traditional clothing for women in Afghanistan. They are generally worn for cultural or religious reasons by those adhering to Islam. The blue burkas are made up of a single piece of cloth, as opposed to the three-piece black burkas. The blue-colored burka, also referred to as the “shuttlecock burka,” is native to Afghanistan and has spread into Pakistan. IMB Photo

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Brightly colored prayer flags gently blowing in the wind outside the Wat Chedi Luang, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Buddhist worshippers come to sprinkle water on statues of Buddha, helping to ring in Songkran, the Thai new year. IMB Photo

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Thai Buddhists visit the Wat Chedi Luang, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to sprinkle water on statues of the Buddha, helping to ring in Songkran, the Thai new year. They believe this will bring good fortunes to their lives. IMB Photo

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During Songkran, the Thai new year national holiday, Thai Buddhists pour water on statues of Buddha. Throwing or pouring the water is meant to wash away bad luck from the previous year, and to represent purification and good fortune. As believers, we know that the only thing that makes us truly pure is the blood of Christ. IMB missionaries labor to share this truth with the nations. IMB Photo

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Buddhist worshippers pray and worship at the Wat Chedi Luang, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The most iconic ritual of Songkran, the Thai new year festival, is the pouring of water over Buddha statues to symbolize purification and the washing away of all sins and bad luck. Buddhism is the most prominent religion in Thailand. IMB Photo

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Crowds rush together to light their torches during the annual Fire Festival (Bugum Kyuu) in Nalerigu, Ghana. The event is a centuries-old tradition among the Mamprusi and many other ethnic groups of Ghana’s north. In towns and villages across the region, crowds will gather at chiefs’ palaces where they will ceremonially light the first torch, wave it around their heads thrice and throw it to the ground. Some superstitiously believe that doing this brings good luck in the new year. IMB Photo

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Portrait of a Muslim, Mamprusi woman with elaborate henna art designs on her left arm. In West Africa, it is customary for a bride and her friends to receive temporary henna tattoos on their hands, arms and feet before a wedding. IMB Photo

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A Muslim woman displays the henna art decorating her left arm. In West Africa, it is customary for a bride and her friends to receive temporary henna tattoos on their hands, arms and feet before a wedding. IMB Photo

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A Muslim woman displays the henna art decorating her fingers. In West Africa, it is customary for a bride and her friends to receive temporary henna tatoos on their hands, arms and feet before a wedding. The twisted metal ring on the woman’s middle finger is a magical amulet believed to be imbued with protective powers. IMB Photo

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