Importance of Ritual

Essay by aefrantz26College, UndergraduateA, July 2014

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Significance and Meaning of Ritual

Human ritual is not only one of the most fascinating aspects of society, but also one of the most important founding concepts of our lifestyle. Trying to imagine a society without ritual would be similar to envisioning a society without language, nearly impossible. We can define ritual as an unavoidable element of cultural, encompassing everything from large-scale shared and collective gatherings, such as the Olympics, to the more intimate self-routines that we perform in private. The great variety of rituals crossing from cultures and persons exemplifies the true diversity of social lifestyle. Being such an insight into cultural study, ritual has become one of the most significant aspects of anthropological deliberation and examination. But what is ritual? It's so easy to picture exotic characters performing some vu-doo spell like we see in our whimsy television shows, but in fact, ritual can be found almost everywhere in "modern" society.

From unwrapping Christmas presents to brushing your teeth, all these collective experiences are forms of ritual.

In today's "modern" society, one of the most common places to find examples of ritual is both within and revolving around sport. Within culture, the aspect of sport and ritual are closely related. Many sports have been derived from rituals practiced in preliterate societies, and more often times than not, sporting events have several ritualistic activities that coincide with them. Sport, as a whole, can be seen as a ritual. However, to better illustrate the significance of rituals in everyday life this paper will be using a more specific ritual that takes place within sport- The pre-game circle ritual performed by The College of Southern Nevada's Softball team:

The anticipation is building and the nerves are all on edge as the coaches and players of CSN's colligate softball team gather together...