What is ritual?

  • (adj): Of or relating to or employed in social rites or rituals.
    Example: "A ritual dance of Haiti"; "sedate little colonial tribe with its ritual tea parties"- Nadine Gordimer
    See also — Additional definitions below


A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. The term usually refers to actions which are stylized, excluding actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers.

Read more about Ritual.

Some articles on ritual:

Pavithrotsavam - Rituals
... In Tirumala, the Pavitrotsavam ritual is conducted on Sravana shuddha dashami day ... This ritual signifies the beginning of festival in the temple ... This is followed by recital of vedas in a ritual called Mritsangrahana ...
Ritual - Anthropological Studies
... to anthropologists has been the role of ritual in structuring life crises, human development, religious enactment and entertainment ... and other ethnographers, who have contributed to ritual theory are Victor Turner, Ronald Grimes, Mary Douglas, and the biogenetic structuralists ... like Michael Silverstein (2004) treat ritual as social action aimed at particular transformations often conceived in cosmic terms ...
Rituals Of Zhou - Culture and Society - Li
... Chinese 禮 simplified Chinese 礼 pinyin lǐ) ritual system encoded an understanding of manners as an expression of the social hierarchy, ethics, and ... body of concrete regulations, the fragmentation of the Western Zhou period led the ritual to drift towards moralization and formalization in regard to The five orders of Chinese nobility ... (size, legitimate number of pavilions) Ceremonial regulations (number of ritual vessels, musical instruments, people in the dancing troupe) ...
Eloji - Ritual
... Men beg him for sexual prowess and females worship him to be gifted with a male child ... On the Day of Holi when all men are singing Holi songs known as Phag which are songs describing their sexual accomplishments the married women pay a visit to Eloji in groups of friends, bow to him, touch his elongated phallus with awe and cut jokes, they laugh and tease each other ...
Ritual Of Restoration - Performance
... The Ritual of Restoration has been seen performed on three separate occasions once by a Kalderash Gypsy elder, and twice by the Witch Willow Rosenberg ... The ritual is spoken slightly differently each time, presumably because the translation made by Jenny Calendar is not an exact replica of the original text, though it seems to have the ...

More definitions of "ritual":

  • (noun): Any customary observance or practice.
    Synonyms: rite
  • (noun): The prescribed procedure for conducting religious ceremonies.
  • (adj): Of or relating to or characteristic of religious rituals.
    Example: "Ritual killing"
  • (noun): Stereotyped behavior.

Famous quotes containing the word ritual:

    Promiscuity in men may cheapen love but sharpen thought. Promiscuity in women is illness, a leakage of identity. The promiscuous woman is self-contaminated and incapable of clear ideas. She has ruptured the ritual integrity of her body.
    Camille Paglia (b. 1947)

    Cinema is the culmination of the obsessive, mechanistic male drive in western culture. The movie projector is an Apollonian straightshooter, demonstrating the link between aggression and art. Every pictorial framing is a ritual limitation, a barred precinct.
    Camille Paglia (b. 1947)

    We must get back into relation, vivid and nourishing relation to the cosmos and the universe. The way is through daily ritual, and is an affair of the individual and the household, a ritual of dawn and noon and sunset, the ritual of the kindling fire and pouring water, the ritual of the first breath, and the last.
    —D.H. (David Herbert)