Libation

From Academic Kids

A libation is a ritual pouring of a drink as an offering to a god. It was common in the religions of antiquity, including Judaism:

"And Jacob set up a Pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a Pillar of Stone; and he poured out a drink offering on it, and poured oil on it". (Genesis 35:14)

The liquid used in libations varied; most commonly it was wine or olive oil, and in India, ghee. The vessels used in the ritual, including the patera, often had a significant form which differentiated it from secular vessels. The liquid was poured onto something of religious significance. The libation was very often poured on the ground itself, as an offering to the Earth.

In his Pneumatica, Hero of Alexandria described a mechanism for automating the process by using altar fires to force oil from the cups of two statues.

In Shinto, the practice of libation and the drink offered is called Miki (神酒), lit. kami sake. On a ceremony at a Shinto shrine, it is usually done with sake wine but for a shrine in a house, one may substitute with a fresh water which will be changed every morning. It is served in a white porcelain or metal cup without any decoration.pl:Libacja

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