A ceremony is an activity, infused with ritual significance, performed on a certain occasion. For example, the Japanese tea ceremony was frequently held as a ritual of hospitality at the arrival of a guest.
Traditionally, a ceremony may mark a rite of passage in a personal human career, marking the significance of (for example):
Other, society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal or recurrent events like:
Yet other ceremonies underscore the importance of irregular special occasions, such as:
Often ceremonies have a physical display or theatrical component: dance
, a procession, the laying on of hands. But even greater importance usually attaches to a declaratory verbal pronouncement which may explain or cap the mummery, for instance:
- I now pronounce you man and wife.
- Happy New Year!
- I swear to serve and defend the nation ...
Both physical and verbal components of a ceremony may become part of a liturgy