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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):

See also: human condition, initiation rite.

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 occasion, for instance:

Both physical and verbal components of a ceremony may become part of a liturgy.

See also: gift