ritual

Ancient excavated Buddha-image at the Mahaparinirvana Temple, Kushinagar

Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, after which the pilgrim returns to their daily life....

Tirta Empul Temple, Bathing, BaptismTirta Empul Temple Bathing Baptism

Ritual Purification

Ritual Purification Ritual purification is the ritual prescribed by a religion by which a person is considered to be free of uncleanliness, especially prior to the worship of a deity, and ritual purity is a state of ritual cleanliness. Ritual purification may also apply to objects and places. Ritual uncleanliness is not identical with ordinary physical impurity, such...

Novena rites are common in Filipino churches.

Novena

Novena A novena (from Latin: novem, “nine”) is an ancient tradition of devotional praying in Christianity, consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days or weeks. The nine days between the Feast of the Ascension and Pentecost, when the disciples gathered in the upper room and devote themselves to prayer, is often considered...

A wallpainting in a Laotian temple, depicting the Bodhisattva Gautama (Buddha-to-be) undertaking extreme ascetic practices before his enlightenment. A god is overseeing his striving, and providing some spiritual protection.

Buddhist Mythology

Buddhist Mythology Buddhist mythology is centered around the life of the Buddha. This is told in relatively realistic terms in the earliest texts, and was soon elaborated into a complex literary mythology. The chief motif of this story, and the most distinctive feature of Buddhist myth, is the Buddha’s renunciation: leaving his home...

Shingon Buddhist priests practice homa ritual, which sometimes includes beating drums and blowing horagai (lower, conch).

Homa (ritual)

Homa (ritual) Homa is Sanskrit for a ritual, wherein an oblation or any religious offering is made into fire. A homa is sometimes called a “sacrifice ritual” because the fire destroys the offering, but a homa is more accurately a “votive ritual“. The fire is the agent, and the offerings include those that...

Passover sacrifice

Slaughter Offering

Slaughter Offering A slaughter offering in the Hebrew Bible (זָבַח‎, zevakh) is a type of Jewish animal sacrifice. The term specifically refers to the slaughter of an animal to God followed by a feast or a meal. This is distinguished from the burnt offering, shechita, guilt offering, sin offering, korban sacrifice, and the gift offering (Hebrew minchah). A common subcategory...

Christmas goat sacrifice in Isla de Margarita, Venezuela

Ritual Slaughter

Ritual Slaughter Ritual slaughter is the practice of slaughtering livestock for meat in the context of a ritual. Ritual slaughter involves a prescribed practice of slaughtering an animal for food production purposes. This differs from animal sacrifices that involve slaughtering animals, often in the context of rituals, for purposes other than mere food production....

One of the altars at the Monte d'Accoddi in Sardinia, where animal sacrifice may have occurred.

Animal Sacrifice

Animal Sacrifice Animal sacrificeis the ritual killing and offering of an animal usually as part of a religious ritual or to appease or maintain favour with a deity. Animal sacrifices were common throughout Europe and the Ancient Near East until the spread of Christianity in Late Antiquity, and continue in some cultures or religions today. Human sacrifice, where it existed, was always much more...

Islam Religion Worship The Pilgrim's Guide Travel

Myth and Ritual

Myth and Ritual Myth and ritual are two central components of religious practice. Although myth and ritual are commonly united as parts of religion, the exact relationship between them has been a matter of controversy among scholars. One of the approaches to this problem is “the myth and ritual, or myth-ritualist, theory,”...

Origin Myth

Origin Myth An origin myth is a myth that purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world. One type of origin myth is the cosmogonic myth, which describes the creation of the world. However, many cultures have stories set after the cosmogonic myth, which describe...

The First Thanksgiving 1621, oil on canvas by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930). The painting shows common misconceptions about the event that persist to modern times: Pilgrims did not wear such outfits, and the Wampanoag are dressed in the style of Plains Indians.

Ritual

Ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a community, including a religious community. Rituals are characterized, but not defined, by formalism, traditionalism, invariance, rule-governance, sacral symbolism, and performance. Rituals are a feature...

Magical Thinking

What Is Magical Thinking? Magical thinking is a term used in anthropology, philosophy and psychology, denoting the causal relationships between actions and events. There are subtle differences in meaning between individual theorists as well as amongst fields of study. In anthropology, it denotes the attribution of causality between entities grouped with one another (coincidence) or similar to one another....

A Vedic Yajna plays a central role in Hindu weddings.

Yajna

Yajna Yajna (yajña) literally means “devotion, worship, offering”, and refers in Hinduism to any ritual done in front of a sacred fire, often with mantras. Yajna has been a Vedic tradition, described in a layer of Vedic literature called Brahmanas, as well as Yajurveda. The tradition has evolved from offering oblations...

Totem poles and houses at 'Ksan, near Hazelton, British Columbia.

Totem Pole

Totem Pole Totem poles are monumental carvings, a type of Northwest Coast art, consisting of poles, posts or pillars, carved with symbols or figures. They are usually made from large trees, mostly western red cedar, by First Nations and indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast including northern Northwest Coast Haida,...

Animal sacrifice offered together with libation in Ancient Greece. Attic red-figure oinochoe, ca. 430–425 BC (Louvre).

Sacrifice

Sacrifice Sacrifice is the offering of food, objects or the lives of animals or humans to a higher purpose, in particular divine beings, as an act of propitiation or worship. While sacrifice often implies the ritual killing of an animal, the term offering (Latin oblatio) can be used for bloodless sacrifices of food or artifacts. For offerings...

Baptism Baptismal Font Church Religion Christianity

Baptism

Baptism Baptism, from Greek βαπτίζω (baptízô), is a religious act of purification by water usually associated with admission to a Christian church. Although the primary meaning of the Greek word for baptism is dip or plunge, the term was used also historically to mean perform ablutions. The Christian ceremony of baptism evolved from the Jewish tradition of purification by immersion in a...

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Incantation

What is Incantation? An incantation is a magical formula intended to trigger a magical effect on a person or objects. The formula can be spoken, sung or chanted. An incantation can also be performed during ceremonial rituals or prayers. Other words synonymous with incantation is spells, charms or to bewitch. In the world of magic,...

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