Two ritual officers take the blood and fur from the primary sacrifice to bury outside the main temple gate. As incorporeal, yet discrete beings, the spirits were attracted to the ceremonial site by the scent of the blood and fur. In addition to attracting the spirits, the burying of the blood and fur also informed the spirits that a full animal was being offered.

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Sacrificial Large Beast

Carrying the bowls to bury the blood and fur outside the gate

Traditionally, the main sacrificial victim is chosen and carefully tended to for a month prior to the ceremony. On the day before the ceremony, the sacrificial victims are brought to the "spirit kitchen," an area typically in the back corner of the temple complex. A ritual officer inspects the kitchen utensils and ritual vessels for cleanliness and the victims for plumpness. Assuming everything is in order, the victims are then slaughtered. Some of the blood and fur from the sacrificial victims is set aside in a pan, later to be buried outside the main temple gates, and the animals are cleansed with boiling water. In this ceremony, the sacrificial victims were chosen beforehand at a slaughterhouse and killed there, rather than in the temple complex.

Other Offerings

Although the fur and blood lured spirits to the feast initially, the majority of the sacrificial feast consisted of simple fare. Canonical sources admonished those who offered extravagant or expensive foods; spirits preferred simple fare, including unseasoned broth, grains, and edible grasses. The meat that was served was typically raw or dried. Prior to the ceremony, a ritually purified officer consecrates the offerings.

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