A ceremony (UK: , US: ) is an event of ritual significance, performed on a special occasion. The word may be of Etruscan origin, via the Latin caerimonia.
A ceremony may mark a rite of passage in a human life, marking the significance of, for example:
Celebration of events
Other, society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal or recurrent events such as:
Other ceremonies underscore the importance of non-regular special occasions, such as:
In some Asian cultures, ceremonies also play an important social role, for example the tea ceremony.
Ceremonies may have a physical display or theatrical component: dance, a procession, the laying on of hands. A declaratory verbal pronouncement may explain or cap the occasion, for instance:
- I now pronounce you husband and wife.
- I swear to serve and defend the nation ...
- I declare open the games of ...
- I/We dedicate this ... ... to ...
Both physical and verbal components of a ceremony may become part of a liturgy.
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