Celebrations

All over New Orleans, thousands of "house floats" were decorated in lieu of parade floats amid the paradeless 2021 Mardi Gras celebrations.

A Mardi Gras Like No Other Seeks to Bring New Orleans Together—From a Distance

The carnival season holds the possibility for renewal during the Covid-19 pandemic

The Facebook group "Krewe of House Floats" boasts 12,500 members and counting.

With Mardi Gras Parades Canceled, New Orleans Residents Are Turning Their Houses Into Floats

Louisiana locals have come up with a range of socially distanced alternatives to the city's traditional festivities

Children cluster around Santa in this 1903 illustration.

Christmas Wasn't Always the Kid-Friendly Gift Extravaganza We Know Today

How a once-raucous holiday became a time of childlike wonder and beribboned consumerism

Co-founder Rino Dubokovic says his intention is not to glorify alcoholism, but to represent the experience of sharing light-hearted, boozy stories with friends.

Croatia's Museum of Hangovers Is an Ode to Boozy Shenanigans

But critics have raised concerns that the museum makes light of alcohol abuse

From Christmas to Chinese New Year to San Sebastián Street Festival, here are the beverages that people around the world will be sipping on this holiday season.

Nine Delicious Holiday Drinks From Around the World

Bored of eggnog? Sick of cider? Here are nine scrumptious end-of-year beverages to sip on from across the globe

Bass player Verdine White of Earth, Wind & Fire performed the group's iconic song "September."

Here’s What NPG Gala Honorees Have to Say About Their Portraits

Likenesses of six American icons including Jeff Bezos, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Frances Arnold join the collections

Altars are an important aspect of the Dia de los Muertos holiday in Mexico.

The Meaning Behind Six Objects on Día de los Muertos Altars

From marigolds to sugar skulls, the traditional Mexican holiday is full of symbols

An 1897 poster critiquing the McKinley administration set during the Fourth of July shows the inherent danger of do-it-yourself fireworks.

The 1900s Movement to Make the Fourth of July Boring (but Safe)

One activist thought celebrating the founding of the nation would be better spent as a "a quiet day under the trees"

Wyoming women voting.

Women Who Shaped History

Women Have Been Voting in Wyoming for 150 Years, and Here Is How the State Is Celebrating

To mark the anniversary, Wyoming is delivering an impressive lineup of events, from a reenactment of the first vote to female-focused exhibits and retreats

The Cheerwine Festival in Salisbury, North Carolina, is just one of the many food and drink festivals taking place this spring in the American South.

American South

Ten of the South’s Most Mouth-Watering Food Festivals

From Vidalia onions to beer cheese, the American South has culinary celebrations covered

The Watermelon Drop in Vincennes, Indiana

From Opossums to Bologna: Weird Things Cities Drop on New Year's Eve

Who needs a ball? Cities get creative on New Year's Eve by dropping objects that reflect local products and culture

A restaurant in Bishopville, S.C. markets the town’s association to the Lizard Man.

A Search for Mysteries and Monsters in Small Town America

How monster festivals became American pilgrimage sites

From glow-in-the-dark squid to the terrifying stoplight loosejaw, creatures of the deep have evolved their own living light time and time again.

Why Bioluminescence Evolved to Be Red Light, and Blue

The laws of nature constrict living light to a few hues, which also happen to be quite patriotic

Why This Year's Royal Wedding Cake Won't Be a Disgusting Fruitcake

Wedding guests of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry can have their cake – and this time they’ll want to eat it, too

Ask Smithsonian

Why Don't We See Fireflies in the Western U.S.?

You asked, we answered

The view of Cape Town from Robben Island, the brutal prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 years as a political prisoner. Mandela would have turned 100 this July.

Ten Major Anniversaries Worth Traveling For This Year

From Austria to the Appalachian Trail, there’s plenty to celebrate this year

No public domain etchings by Jessie Traill available for this American teen.

Why Americans Missed Out on Public Domain Day (Again)

Aleister Crowley, Dorothy Parker, and René Magritte joined the public domain in 2018, but not in the United States

Thanksgiving in the 19th century was less Norman Rockwell, more Mardi Gras.

The First Thanksgiving Parades Were Riots

The Fantastics parades were occasions of sometimes-violent revelry

A succulent spread from Petworth-based Japanese restaurant Himitsu, one of the many D.C. vendors that will be represented at IlluminAsia.

Freer|Sackler: Reopens

You've Never Tasted "Street Food" Like This Before

For its grand reopening, a hub of Asian-American culture serves up a culinary wonderland

Some parents cut a cake, while others release pink or blue balloons from a box.

What Does the Gender Reveal Fad Say About Modern Pregnancy?

A new ritual speaks to anxieties surrounding the medicalization of childbearing

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