September 13, 2014
Ritual itself is a part of the social fabric of any culture. It manifests itself in a myriad of ways and creates unity within the shared experience. It signifies a transformation whether a public or private event. Ritual often takes place in a sacred place or transforms an ordinary space into a sacred one. The experience generally reflects the history and perceptions of the participating group as a whole. Ritual can reaffirm the participants place within the social structure at large such as agricultural festivals for the growth of the community, or the tradition of ringing in the New Year, which encompasses the community. It can also celebrate a singular event such as birth and death celebrations specific to one person. There are rituals specific to women, men, and rites of passage such as adolescence. The aspect of worship adds specific structure to ritual based on a spiritual system. Within the realm of worship there are some common denominators that carry through many different spiritual systems such as indoctrination into a specific system, purification and anointing, and sacrifice. All of these events can include a procession, specific garments, ritual objects, specific dialog, songs and dance.