Rituals and celebrations

marker Publication Date: 2020-10-26
Celebrations are fundamental to every society, and Humans have a deep need to celebrate special occasions, which is now integrated in traditions. Implementing rituals and festive events in a social group is of great importance to increase community cohesion.

Rituals, here defined as a repeated set of actions performed by a group, and celebration events are activities that regularly organise community lives. They are meaningful as they enable the community to reaffirm its values and to share a common history: they are familiar to all community members and, in that sense, they are an opportunity to bind a group together and thus develop social well-being.
Besides, in a world where social practices are strongly affected by the quick changes caused by the modern society (individualisation, globalization, migrations...), implementing rituals and celebrations is a way to preserve a connection to territories and local traditions.

Rituals and celebrations can be public and open to everybody, including persons not being part of the community. On the contrary, they can be for the community members only, in small and private gatherings.


Many different rituals are implemented in communities' lives. We can name for example:
  • Going round the table so that everybody can give a short personal sharing at the beginning and end of a meeting
  • Performing a collective blessing (religious or secular, depending on the community values) before having lunch to acknowledge all the persons and elements that enabled the preparation of food for the group
  • Having specific regular activities: singing, playing music, meditating or dancing
  • Gathering regularly all the community for collective tasks (monthly community day for example) and meals

Specific celebrations

Celebrations lean on particular events, specific to the community, or more widely shared. It can be:
  • birth, wedding and funeral rituals
  • festive events to mark the passing of the seasons, natural events or the agricultural calendar: harvest festival, beginning of spring, departure or return of the cattle from the stables to the pastures, summer solstice, solar and lunar phases
  • practices specific to men or women only: women's circles, rites of passage
  • celebrations of birthdays
  • other events such as carnivals, New Year's Eve

Depending on the community values, different manners of celebration can be adopted: spiritually oriented groups will probably prefer meditative and calmer ways to celebrate, practising spiritual activities. Secular groups can favour party, music and food sharing. A combination of these two manners is also possible.

Throughout the process of creation and development of an ecovillage, it is also important to celebrate all the significant steps accomplished by the group: celebrating then works as a reward for the efforts produced, marks the completion of all stages and will thus become a positive memory for the whole group.