What is a custom?


A custom is a way of doing things that many people in a community or in your family have been doing for a long time. Almost every country in the world has customs that the majority of population practices. But customs can also be shared just by certain groups of people or family members. Sharing customs helps us to feel we belong to a group, and they work as social rules of how we live together with other people.

Examples of customs are shaking hands when you greet someone, eating with plates and silverware, or taking off your shoes when you come into the house.

Understanding customs from around the world helps us value cultural differences.

All people have the freedom to express themselves through tradition. Expressing culture allows people to pass down knowledge about their national or ethnic identity to the next generation.


Ask your parents if their families have any special customs or if they experienced any while growing up!


Check out Whyzz's Traditions page to find ideas how to join customs and traditions!

Further Information

Some very specific cultural customs include the annual monkey buffet festival in Bangkok, Thailand where people offer over 3,000 kilograms of fruit and vegetables to the monkeys. In Germany, children usually leave out their shoes by a door or window on the night of December 5 and receive a small gift the next morning on December 6, which is "Nikolaustag" or St. Nicholas Day.

Sometimes, there are different customs for different people depending on their age and gender. For example, November 25 is St. Catherine's Day in France, and all unmarried women who are 25 years old must wear silly green and yellow hats all day long. In Botswana, the tooth fairy does not come when children lose their teeth; instead, kids throw their teeth onto the roof of their house!