Both rituals and habits are stylized patterns of behavior. Rituals are generally more ceremonial, formalized, structured, and are usually public. Habits are personal, individualized, and typically private. We are habitual animals. Thus, there is a pleasure in practicing familiar social rituals found in games, musical events, conversations, dancing, singing, dining, and public gatherings. Other habits can be more restricted from the public, such as reading, sexual activities, meditating, walking, or talking. Walking and talking are arduous tasks in learning as infants. However, once the major 'highways" are constructed in the brain, we walk and talk without conscious thought. It is a habit. We all have a morning "ritual" of a meal, coffee, and newsgathering with our electronic devices. We have other essential rituals upon entering our workplace, returning home in the evening, and at nighttime. When we cannot have or complete a ritual, we feel something is out of joint or incomplete. In short, habits are essential in our lives, but the most critical shared habits are ceremonial rituals.
Rituals are the cornerstone of religion. Religious rituals include life cycle events connected with birth, the transition to adulthood, marriage, the birth of children, and death. Seasonal rituals usually include ceremonials for the fall, winter, spring, and summer solstice reflecting such holidays as Passover, Diwali, Christmas, Saturnalia, May Day, Yom Kippur, or Easter. Explicit religious holidays include Baisakhi, Declaration of the Bab, and Ramadan. Even within the faith religion of Christianity, procedural rituals are found in Bible study groups, Sunday school, church services, and proselytizing. Without rituals, we would not have religion, as we know it today, and without habits, we would not have life as we know it today. We are habitual animals because chaos is more than unacceptable. It is intolerable.