Klingon Rituals & Traditions
This section will guide you through the fascinating aspects
of Klingon rituals, traditions and ceremonies. All are listed
in alphabetical manner and include hyper-links within the database
itself. (More entries will be added later as time allows.)
| Age of Ascension | Arbiter
of Succession | Assassination
B Black Fleet
C Challenge Rituals
D Death Howl
| Death Related | Discommendation
| Dishonourable Killings
G G'now juk Hol
pajhard | Gre'thor
| Jat'lyn | jinaq
L Laws and Justice
M Manhood Tradition
| Mating Ceremony | Mauk-to
'Vor | MajQa | Mek'ba
Q Qab jIH nagil
R Rite of Passage
| Rite of Succession | Ritualized
Killing | Ritualized Suicide
T Tea Ceremony
| Tlinghan jIH
See listing under Ruus'tai for
a more detailed description.
Age of Ascension Ceremony
This ritual, also known as the Klingon Rite of Passage, marks
the attainment of a new level of spirituality for a Klingon warrior.
First the ascendee proclaims "DaHjaj SuvwI'e' jiH. tIgwIj
Sa'angNIS. Iw bIQtIq jIjaH." - Today I am a Warrior.
I must show you my heart. I travel the river of blood. Then
the ascendee walks between two rows of warriors who subject him
or her to painsticks. The ascendee is expected to express his
or her most profound feelings while under this extreme duress.
The ceremony can be repeated as the warrior grows in maturity.
Worf repeated the ceremony as a celebration of the ten year anniversary
of his Age of Ascension.
Arbiter of Succession
This position is established by Klingon law. This individual
is responsible for administering the Rite of Succession which
involves the selection of a new Klingon High Council Leader.
The Arbiter was responsible for selecting the challengers for
leadership of the Council.
The assassin is considered to be an honorable profession.
However, to carry out an honorable assassination, the assassin
must show his or her face to the victim and they usually use
a primitive simple weapon. The honorable assassin kills at close
Reference to a Klingon afterlife by author John M. Ford in
his novel The Final Reflection. When a Klingon dies an
honourable death, they are believed to go on to serve in the
Black Fleet, where they fight a continous battle against their
most worthy foes.
When a Klingon Warrior is accused by the Council, he has the
right to challenge them. He presents evidence to the Council
which then passes judgement. While being heard, the challenger
appoints a cha'Dich (a second) who
stands with him during the challenge or trial. Results of challenges
can be exoneration, discommendation
or even death.
The cha'Dich is an individual appointed by a warrior to stand
with him during a ceremonial challenge or trial. The cha'Dich
must defend the one challenged because he or she is denied the
right of combat while accused. The cha'Dich is given a ritual
knife and stands along side his warrior during the challenge.
a) The Black Fleet
(according to John Ford in the novel The Final Reflection)
Mythical Klingon beast that was the Guardian of Gre'thor.
The place that the dishonored go when they die.
d) Klingon Death Ritual
A ceremony involving the death of a comrade. The fallen warrior's
eyes were pried open and his comrades gathered around him. Then
they "howl". This is a powerful howl that is not one
of sorrow, but of victory for the fallen warrior. Klingons believe
that the howl warns the dead that another Klingon warrior is
about to arrive.
e) Klingon Death Howl
Part of the formal Klingon Death Ritual. (see above)
Klingon term for "spiritual possession". Translated
it means, "The taking of the living by the dead".
Mythological place of Klingon afterlife.
The ritual shaming of a Klingon. When an individual receives
discommendation, he or she is treated as if they didn't exist.
The individual loses his or her honor and the family is disgraced
for seven generations.
Klingon belief holds that an individual should show his face
to an enemy when he or she kills them. To kill an individual
from behind, with poison or with one's face concealed is considered
dishonorable. The individual shows his or her face so that the
dying warrior will know who to curse.
Literally translated as "The time to die", this
is a Klingon ritualized suicide. When a Warrior can no longer
stand and face his enemies, he brings himself an honorable death
thru this ceremony. The eldest son of the individual, or a close
friend would bring a ceremonial knife to the warrior who would
plunge it into his or her chest. The son or friend would then
remove the knife and wipe it on their sleeve.
Laws and Justice
The Mek'ba is the name given to that part of a trial or challenge
in which evidence is presented. The Mek'ba has strict rules for
the presentation of evidence and for the conduct of both the
accused and the accuser (much like Terran courts).
b) G'now juk Hol pajhard
Klingon law of Heredity. A son shall share in the honors or shame
of his father.
A Klingon youth was considered a man on the day he could first
hold a blade.
a) Selection and commitment to a mate
The words "jIH dok" (my blood) are spoken
to one's mate and the mate replies "maj dok"
(our blood). This exchange seals a marriage vow.
b) Tlinghan jIH
These words complete the oath between husband and wife during
their marriage ceremony. It translates as " I am a Klingon".
This is a traditional amulet studded with jewels that is given
to a Klingon daughter when she is old enough to take a mate.
Ritual killing of an individual so that his honor can be restored.
Rite of Passage
Another term for the Klingon Age of
Rite of MajQa
This rite is similar to practices of Terran primative cultures
in which an individual is subjected to either drug or extreme
hardship to induce visions. In the Rite of MajQa, the Klingon
meditates in the lava caves of No' Mat. The long exposure to
the heat produces a hallucinatory effect. The visions seen by
the individual are considered very important. Special significance
is attached to any visions of one's father.
Rite of Succession
This is the process by which a new Klingon High Council leader
is chosen. First the Sonchi was performed, next the Arbiter of
Succession chooses the challengers for the position of Council
Leader and then the two strongest challengers would fight for
a) Sonchi Formal
certification of the death of the previous leader.
b) Arbiter of Succession
see link for a more detailed description
c) Qab jIH nagil
Translated this means " Face me if you dare".
This was a ritual challenge made during the Sonchi in which a
contender for the position of leader would challenge his rivals.
An ancient aspect of the Rite of Succession. In the ja'chug,
the candidates would list their victories in battle, the prizes
they had won, and their prowess in battle to make their claim
for the Leadership of the council. It was considered obsolete
because it was so time-consuming.
Also known as the Mauk-to 'Vor
Also known as the Hegh'bat
The R'uustai is a ceremony in which two individuals bond together
to become brothers or sisters. It is a solemn ceremony which
includes the lighting of ceremonial candles, the wearing of warrior's
sashes and intonations honoring the individual's mothers.
This is a ceremony to test one's bravery. In this ritual,
two friends share poisoned tea served on a tray decorated with
simple flowers. This ceremony gives the friends a chance to share
each other's mortality and to remind them that death is an experience
best shared - like the tea.