Difference between Culture and Tradition with characteristics and definitions

Man is a thinking being, a quality that differentiates him from other living beings. In his need to form and structure himself socially, a series of elements converged that were forming part of his identity and idiosyncrasy. As time passes, man preserves some customs of the previous generations, some are changed or modified. However, they are always kept from generation to generation. Each culture differentiates peoples, depending on the geographic space where they live, their way of eating, and their religious beliefs. For example, an Aboriginal who was born and has lived in his community will not have the same culture and traditions as a person who was born and has lived in the city. In this article we will provide you the Difference between Culture and Tradition.


It is defined as the set of social practices, ideas, beliefs, knowledge, habits and customs learned through social coexistence . This is passed down from generation to generation. Regarding its etymology, culture derives from the Latin ‘Cultus’ which refers to the ‘cultivation of the human spirit’. Furthermore, culture is said to be the knowledge, information and skills that an individual possesses. 

The great historians delimit the culture of man according to the development of societies. So we have the primitive culture , that is, they lacked innovation and technical development; the civilized culture, comprising the use of new elements; the pre-literate culture , where writing is not yet used as a means of communication. Finally, the literate culture , which uses oral and written language as a means of communication.


Basically, by tradition we refer to a group of beliefs, manifestations and customs that have been transmitted from generation to generation in a society, a town or a community . This implies those elements that have a social value and that their individuals preserve so that they are learned by the new generations, as a cultural legacy. Therefore, tradition is something that is inherited. In addition, it becomes part of the idiosyncrasy of each individual, town or country.

There are some elements that are part of the tradition such as gastronomy, dances or dance, music, religious manifestations, stories, myths and legends . An attempt is made to keep these types of manifestations intact, so that they can be learned by new generations, just as our ancestors did.

Difference between Culture and Tradition 

Culture Tradition
Culture identifies a people or society through various characteristics. The tradition is passed down from generation to generation.
Be part of society. It is part of the culture.
It is permanent and is maintained over time. It is momentary and depends on specific dates, events and times.
It admits changes as society evolves. It remains intact over time.

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