South Korean Culture and the Importance of Facial Symmetry and Beauty

South-Korean-gwansang

Facial structure is incredibly important in South Korea and professionals are available who specialize physiognomy, the practice of reading facial features the same way palm readers read the lines of the palm to determine ones supposed fortune (e.g. the forehead supposedly represents luck, up to the age of 30, as well as a person’s parents luck and the nose represents oneself in their entirety and can also be indicative of wealth). The facial reading process is a pseudoscience similar to phrenology of the 19th century. The practice of facial queue reading is actually quite commonplace with top employers like Samsung, LG, and Kia using facial reading experts to help decide who the company should hire for various positions. The body is also accounted for in this reading, but on a much smaller scale. Facial readers claim to be able to predict and decode a persons fortune, career, and wealth, not only for the person being examined, but also of their parents. This process is referred to in Korean as “gwansang”

The Traditional Backstory of the Garden Gnome

garden-gnomeGnomes are said to live in and around gardens, and to come out at night to work on said gardens. If the gnome is caught in daylight, they turn to stone, in whatever position they were caught in. This is why gnomes are placed in gardens in a variety of positions. The idea is that they come out every night and are frozen the next morning during sunrise in whatever position they were in when the light from the sun touched them

The Turin Shroud of Christianity

Turin-Shroud

The Turin Shroud which is believed by Christians to have been wrapped around Jesus Christ after his death and to have been left behind by Christ post-resurrection, is approximately 14’6” long by 3’6” wide and bears the mysterious image of the full front and back of a man, a person who appears to have met a violent death. The Turin Shroud negative image was stumbled upon by amateur photographer Secondo Pia in 1898 whilst taking the first archeological photographs of the shroud. Today, the Turin Shroud is kept within the royal chapel of the Turin Cathedral in Italy, under lock and key in a climate controlled, bulletproof encasing. The Catholic Church allowed scientific examination of the Turin Shroud in 1978 and in 1988, but the piece is rarely placed on display for the public, with the last showing drawing over 2,000,000 (2 million) people in 2015. Blood samples found upon the Turin Shroud found that whoever supplied it had blood type AB, a rare blood type found only in 3% of the population, however more common in the Middle East. Much of the skepticism related to the Turin Shroud stems from the fact that it was not historically documented and recorded until nearly 1400 years after the death of Christ, during the Medieval period in 1349. It is suspected that the Turin Shroud could have belonged to the last grandmaster of the Knights Templar, Jacques de Molay. After being arrested by Philip IV, the then king of France, de Molay was tortured, had a crown of thorns placed upon his head, and was then crucified in 1314. Scientists have theorized that because de Molay was wrapped in a long piece of cloth, the lactic acid built up during torture as well as de Molay’s own blood mixed with the frankincense which was used to keep the cloth white, provided an imprint after his death. The last known historical description and image of de Molay actually matches quite well with the image on the Turin Shroud, both images depicting a male with a large nose, shoulder length hair parted in the center, a crown of thorns, and a full beard

Ancient Egyptian Afterlife Beliefs of the Underworld

Ancient-Egyptian-underworld-afterlife

The ancient Egyptians believed that if a body was properly preserved, the soul would recognize it later on in the underworld allowing for reunification. It was believed that when a king died, they would be united with the sun and became merged into one being, the sun god. On the day that a king passed, it was believed that said king would have to journey into the underworld and pass 12  gates, 1 for each hour of the night. It took purity, magical knowledge, and strength to pass from one level to the next. During the first dynasty pharaohs took with them weapons and treasure as well as food, wine, and beer, and perhaps most surprising, sacrificed servants. Archeologists believe that servants were killed so that they could serve the pharaoh in the afterlife. The servants were buried near the pharaoh so that they would be close by when needed. The pharaoh Djer (pronounced “jer”) was the last pharaoh to practice human sacrifice. Djer had 300 subsidiary burials, many of whom were sacrificed intentionally, but some who are believed to have been family and close friends who had already passed and had their bodies relocated to the site at which Djer was buried

Zoroastrianism and its Relation to Noah’s Ark

zoroastrianism

Zoroastrianism is one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions, founded by the prophet Zoroaster in ancient Iraq, approximately 3500 years ago. The central God of the religion is a deity named Ahura Mazda, who is often depicted as sitting inside a winged disc. According to the Zoroastrian text referred to as the “Vendidad”, it was foretold to the prince Yima that a future cataclysm was on the horizon which included a long serpent making it’s way to the Earth ushering in a winter unlike any seen before, perhaps interpreted in the modern day as an asteroid strike. Yima was provided detailed instructions to build an underground asylum referred to as a “vara”. Yima was also instructed to collect a vast seed bank repertoire and to collect a male and female of every animal used for livestock. It is hypothesized by some scholars that this story was mistaken and transcribed wrong which lead to the advent of the story of Noah’s ark

Modern Concept of Santa Clause

Santa-Clause

The modern concept of Santa Clause with a red suit, a jolly belly, and the iconic “Ho Ho Ho” laugh was invented by cartoonist Thomas Nast in the 1870’s and popularized by Coca Cola in their Santa advertisements which started in 1931. Prior to this, Santa was thought of and depicted as an elvin creature who lived amongst his elves

The Most Basic Meaning of Hanukkah

Hanukkah

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah is essentially at its most basic principle, the celebration of a military victory during the 2nd century B.C., which was fought and won by the Maccabees, a religious and nationalist rebellion militant faction. When the Maccabees triumphed against the foreign Seleucid military which was comprised of Greek and Syrian soldiers, they repatriated and rededicated the Second Temple which stood in Jerusalem, Israel. The Second Temple was the Jewish holy temple which stood upon the Temple Mount during the Second Temple period, between 516 B.C.E. – 70 C.E. The term “hanukkah” is a Hebrew and Aramaic term which means “consecration” but can also be understood as “dedication”