Encyclopedia Article


A formal or prescribed set of observances that make up a regular practice, especially one carrying spiritual significance. A ritual can be performed alone or in small or large groups. Most communities around the world, have recurring gatherings, celebrations, or commemorations that are always performed in the same way according to agreed-upon standards. Such behaviors and events become ritualistic traditions that are often carried out through decades, centuries, or even millennia of repeated practices.

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"Navajo sandpainting ritual, probably in Arizona, circa 1890" by Mullarky Photo is licensed under Public Domain.

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