What is Tradition?

Legal Definition
A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Common examples include holidays or impractical but socially meaningful clothes (like lawyers' wigs or military officers' spurs), but the idea has also been applied to social norms such as greetings. Traditions can persist and evolve for thousands of years—the word "tradition" itself derives from the Latin tradere or traderer literally meaning to transmit, to hand over, to give for safekeeping. While it is commonly assumed that traditions have ancient history, many traditions have been invented on purpose, whether that be political or cultural, over short periods of time. Various academic disciplines also use the word in a variety of ways.

One way tradition is used more simply, often in academic work but elsewhere also, is to indicate the quality of a piece of information being discussed. The phrase "according to tradition," or "by tradition," usually means that whatever information follows is known only by oral tradition, but is not supported, (and perhaps may be refuted) by physical documentation, by a physical artifact, or other quality evidence. For example, "According to tradition, Homer was born on Chios, but many other locales have historically claimed him as theirs." This tradition may never be proven or disproven. In another example, "King Arthur, by tradition a true British king, has inspired many well loved stories, whether true or not." Of course whether they are documented fact or not does not decrease their value as cultural history and literature.

Aside from this use in describing the quality of information, various scholarly fields define the term differently, as is needed. For example, anthropology and biology have each defined tradition it more precisely than in conventional, as described below, in order to facilitate scholarly discourse.

The concept of tradition, as the notion of holding on to a previous time, is also found in political and philosophical discourse. For example, it is the basis of the political concept of traditionalism, and also strands of many world religions including traditional Catholicism. In artistic contexts, tradition is used to decide the correct display of an art form. For example, in the performance of traditional genres (such as traditional dance), adherence to guidelines dictating how an art form should be composed are given greater importance than the performer's own preferences. A number of factors can exacerbate the loss of tradition, including industrialization, globalization, and the assimilation or marginalization of specific cultural groups. In response to this, tradition-preservation attempts have now been started in many countries around the world, focusing on aspects such as traditional languages. Tradition is usually contrasted with the goal of modernity and should be differentiated from customs, conventions, laws, norms, routines, rules and similar concepts.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Contracts, civil law. The act by which a thing is delivered by one or more persons to one or more others.

2. In sales it is the delivery of possession by the proprietor with an intention to transfer the property to the receiver. Two things are therefore requisite in order to transmit property in this way: 1. The intention or consent of the former owner to transfer it; and, 2. The actual delivery in pursuance of that intention.

3. Tradition is either real or symbolical. The first is where the ipsa corpora of movables are put into the hands of the receiver. Symbolical tradition is used where the thing is incapable of real delivery, as, in immovable subjects, such as lands and houses; or such as consist in jure (things incorporeal) as things of fishing and the like. The property of certain movables, though they are capable of real delivery, may be transferred by symbol. Thus, if the subject be under look and key, the delivery of the key is considered as a legal tradition of all that is contained in the repository. Cujas, Observations, liv. 11, ch. 10; Inst. lib. 2, t. 1, §40; Dig. lib. 41, t. 1, 1. 9; Ersk. Princ. Laws of Scotl. bk. 2, t. 1, s. 10, 11; Civil Code Lo. art. 2452, et seq.

4. In the common law the term used in the place of tradition is delivery. (q. v.)
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Delivery. A close translation or formation from the Latin "traditio." 2 Bl. Comm. 307. The tradition or delivery is the transferring of the thing sold into the power and possession of the buyer. Civ. Code La. art 2477. In the rule respecting the admission of tradition or general reputation to prove boundaries, questions of pedigree, etc., this word means knowledge or belief derived from the statements or declarations of contemporary witnesses and handed down orally through a considerable period of time. See Westfelt v. Adams, 131 N. Ca 379, 42 S. E. 823; In re Hurlburt's Estate, 68 Vt 366, 35 AtL 77, 35 L. B. A. 794.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
Knowledge, belief, or practices transmitted orally from father to son or from ancestor to posterity. See 68 Vt. 366, 35 L. R. A. 794, 35 Atl. 77.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary