Rituals, broadly defined, are behaviors or series of actions that one regularly and invariably follows, as, for example, in religious ceremonies. By extension, a family ritual refers to any repeated special activity or behavior involving a family member or members that has some symbolic meaning for those involved. Family rituals often reflect cultural, religious, or ethnic practices and are usually passed down from one generation to the next. Experts agree that family rituals are important because they communicate special meaning to family members, which might include expressions of love, shared happiness, a sense of security, cohesiveness, exclusiveness, and peacefulness. This entry reviews common family rituals and the positive effects they have on participants while also outlining the differences between family rituals and family routines.

Defining Family ...

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