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Laws and Customs Trivia

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Missouri levied a tax on bachelors on December 20, 1820.

In India, frogs were believed to personify thunder in the sky.

Murdering a traveling musician was not a serious crime during the Middle Ages.

In India, frogs were believed to personify thunder in the sky. Their Sanskrit word for “frog” translated to “cloud.”

Nearly 43 percent of convicted criminals serving prison sentences in the United States are re-arrested within a year of being released from prison.

In India, it is perfectly proper for men to wear pajamas in public. Pajamas are accepted as standard daytime wearing apparel.

In Italy, they do not use Christmas trees. They decorate small pyramid shaped wooden stands with fruit.

Federal Aviation Administration rules say winds can be no stronger than 10 mph for safe hot-air balloon flights.

Fire walking is a religious ceremony practiced in many parts of the world, including the Indian subcontinent, Malaya, Japan, China, Fiji Islands, Tahiti, Society Islands, New Zealand, Mauritius, Bulgaria, and Spain. It was also practiced in classical Greece and in ancient India and China. The most common practice is of walking swiftly over a layer of embers spread thinly along the bottom of a shallow trench. Sometimes the devotees or priests walk through a blazing log fire. Instead of embers from a wood fire, in Fiji and Mauritius there may be red-hot stones, or embers may be poured over the devotee's head in a "fire bath."

For a time, it was the custom to use eggs as a form of currency in France. Once a year, poverty-stricken clerics and students trudged through the streets of Paris, carrying an egg basket, and collected what they could.

For hundreds of years, the Chinese zealously guarded the secret of sericulture; imperial law decreed death by torture to those who disclosed how to make silk.

French law stipulates that to be called “Roquefort,” a cheese must come only from that village in France, but the name is used, imitated, and abused widely.

From all levels of government, Americans get 175,000 new laws and two million new regulations every year.

From earliest times, people pierced their ears, nose, and bellybutton as a superstitious practice. The holes produced were thought to release demons from the body. In Europe during the Renaissance, wearing just one earring was considered the height of fashion.

Gift giving is very important in Japan, but extravagant gifts require an equally or slightly more extravagant gift in return. Always avoid giving pricey gifts. It is polite to belittle the value of your gift or food when you offer it, even if it's obviously untrue.

Government regulations prohibit bringing in fresh, dried, and canned meats or meat products from most foreign countries. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service estimates that it uncovers more than 3,000 violations a month at international airports, seaports, and border ports.

Greece, the cradle of democracy, granted women the vote in national election only in 1952.

New York was the first state to require the licensing of motor vehicles. The law was adopted in 1901.

No patent can ever be taken out on a gambling machine in the United States.

In Japan, frogs are the symbols of good luck.

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