Celebrated annually on February 14, Valentine's Day is one of the few holidays that is enjoyed almost worldwide. In the United States, the romantic occasion is observed by exchanging greeting cards and treating loved ones to candy, flowers, gifts, and unforgettable meals. However, not culture marks the day of love in the same way, or even on February 14! Here are some fascinating Valentine's Day traditions from around the world.
This week's severe winter storm, which dumped record amounts of snow in the Mid-Atlantic and the Northeast, had most residents scrambling for the safety and warmth of their homes. However, the animals at the Smithsonian's National Zoo were not going to let Washington, DC's first significant snowfall in two years go to waste.
On February 12, 2021, over a billion people in China and millions worldwide will celebrate the first day of the Chinese New Year. Also known as the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, the exact date of the 15-day commemoration, which marks the end of winter, is determined by the lunar calendar. It falls somewhere between late January to mid-February each year.
Those hoping for some respite from the powerful nor'easter that is currently pummeling the US East Coast and Mid-Atlantic with heavy snow and near-blizzard conditions are in for a disappointment. On February 2, 2021, aka Groundhog Day, legendary woodchuck Punxsutawney Phil observed his shadow. This — according to folklore — means that the frosty weather will remain with us for an additional six weeks.
The countdown to Super Bowl LV (55) has begun! On February 7, 2021, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will battle it out for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Florida. The National Football League's (NFL) championship game, which will pit the league's youngest Super Bowl–winning quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, against its most storied quarterback, Tom Brady, has already established numerous records.
The invention of plastic has been a double-edged sword for humanity. While the cheap, versatile material has made life convenient, it is virtually indestructible and takes centuries to decompose. Since avoiding plastic is impossible, companies worldwide are coming up with innovative ways to repurpose the millions of tons of polymer waste that end up in our landfills annually. Among the latest is California-based TechniSoil Industrial, which has devised an ingenious way to reuse plastic waste to repave roads.
With a series of storms unleashing their fury across the United States this week — all the way from California to New York — many Americans are experiencing the full wrath of the winter season. Freezing as the temperatures may seem, they are balmy compared to those in Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia, or the Sakha Republic, in Russia. The residents of this remote Siberian city have been enduring average temperatures of below -30°F (-34°C) since December 8, 2020, with the mercury dipping as low as -59° F (-50.6 °C) on January 19, 2021.
Mars is famous for its orangish-red hue caused by the iron oxide in its soil. However, the Red Planet's surface, which has been drastically altered by volcanoes, impact craters, crustal movement, and atmospheric conditions such as dust storms, is also home to a wide range of fascinating topographical features. High among the list is Valles Marineris — the Solar System's longest and deepest-known canyon.