ceremonial

When an occasion is extremely formal and full of rituals, you can call it ceremonial. Your cousin's fancy wedding and your friend's bar mitzvah are both ceremonial events.

The ritual of a new queen being crowned is ceremonial, with its pomp and formality. The way your family celebrates Thanksgiving might feel ceremonial to you as well, if everyone takes it very seriously and sticks to firm rules about what food to eat and who carves the turkey. Ceremonial originally described a purely religious ritual, from the Latin caerimonia, "holiness or sacredness."

Definitions of ceremonial
  1. adjective
    marked by pomp or ceremony or formality
    “a ceremonial occasion”
    ceremonial garb”
    Synonyms:
    formal
    being in accord with established forms and conventions and requirements (as e.g. of formal dress)
  2. noun
    a formal event performed on a special occasion
    synonyms: ceremonial occasion, ceremony, observance
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    types:
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    circumstance
    formal ceremony about important occasions
    funeral
    a ceremony at which a dead person is buried or cremated
    hymeneals, nuptials, wedding, wedding ceremony
    the social event at which the ceremony of marriage is performed
    pageant, pageantry
    a rich and spectacular ceremony
    dedication
    a ceremony in which something (as a building) is dedicated to some goal or purpose
    opening
    a ceremony accompanying the start of some enterprise
    commemoration, memorialisation, memorialization
    a ceremony to honor the memory of someone or something
    military ceremony
    a formal ceremony performed by military personnel
    induction, initiation, installation
    a formal entry into an organization or position or office
    exercise
    (usually plural) a ceremony that involves processions and speeches
    fire walking
    the ceremony of walking barefoot over hot stones or a bed of embers
    formalities, formality
    a requirement of etiquette or custom
    Maundy
    a public ceremony on Maundy Thursday when the monarch distributes Maundy money
    potlatch
    a ceremonial feast held by some Indians of the northwestern coast of North America (as in celebrating a marriage or a new accession) in which the host gives gifts to tribesmen and others to display his superior wealth (sometimes, formerly, to his own impoverishment)
    inaugural, inauguration
    the ceremonial induction into a position
    burial, entombment, inhumation, interment, sepulture
    the ritual placing of a corpse in a grave
    sky burial
    a traditional Tibetan funeral ritual in which the corpse is exposed to the open air to be eaten by sacred vultures
    rededication
    a new dedication
    coronation, enthronement, enthronisation, enthronization, investiture
    the ceremony of installing a new monarch
    bar mitzvah
    (Judaism) an initiation ceremony marking the 13th birthday of a Jewish boy and signifying the beginning of religious responsibility
    bas mitzvah, bat mitzvah, bath mitzvah
    (Judaism) an initiation ceremony marking the 12th birthday of a Jewish girl and signifying the beginning of religious responsibility
    commencement, commencement ceremony, commencement exercise, graduation, graduation exercise
    an academic exercise in which diplomas are conferred
    type of:
    affair, function, occasion, social function, social occasion
    a vaguely specified social event
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