Today, I saw a feature story on Yahoo about a 60 year old ritual that appears to have been broken, but no one knows why. Some man would come every year to visit Edgar Allan Poe's grave to leave roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac. For some reason, he didn't make it this year. All kinds of speculation is happening about why. Here's the link to the story:
Reading the account made me think about the importance of rituals in our writing and how they're indicators of a character's personality or station in life.
There are tons of rituals. They can involve religion, hygiene, family, work, sleep habits, holidays, you name it.
Here are some of my own rituals, involving food:
Popcorn at movies
Hamburgers with ketchup and mustard on a hamburger bun or on rye bread
Mustard, never ketchup, on hotdogs
Pepsi, with ice at my evening meal - Never Coca Cola
Eating dinner from a TV tray while watching television
Going to a Chinese restaurant for Chinese New Year
Going to a Mexican restaurant for Cinco De Mayo
Turkey at Thanksgiving
In my romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams, my main character and her love interest share a Friday night ritual of eating pizza while working late.
What about you? Have you included a ritual in one of your books? Or maybe you'd like to share a personal ritual. It doesn't have to be about food. It can be anything.