Gnomes are famous for their festive springtime celebrations. Farm villages will often dye their hens eggs bright colors; with gnomish magic, the chicks that hatch from the eggs have the very same colors. The chickens eventually lose their hues, but the stronger the magic, the longer the color stays. In a gnomish village, one can easily spot the village shaman by his flock of gaily colored fowl.
Rich Romans raised fish in private pools at their villas. A favorite fish was lamprey, a parasitic fish which sucks off blood and flesh but made an excellent meal. A particuarly gruesome punishment for slaves was to be thrown into the lamprey pool, where their flesh was ripped from the bone by swarms of the jawless fish.
Medieval Britons didn't write contracts. Instead, men making agreements would clap their knives onto an altar and recite the agreement three times to seal a deal. Even after the Normans introduced written contracts, British nobles would wrap the parchment around a knife to authenticate it.
What a narrow street! The bowed windows of the upper floors encroach on the view of the bowed windows opposite, making it all very dark and shady down here in your carriage. You feel it slow down and stop, and there are raised voices outside. Craning your neck out of the door you see a smug cartsman ahead, whose cart is blocking just enough of the narrow street to make your passage impossible. He appears to be waiting for you to move, but your driver is hurling abuse at him and your horses are getting restless...