The act of offering objects, animals, or humans to a god or gods includes blood offerings (such as the killing of animals or humans) or bloodless offerings (very often food or flowers). Sacrifices may be made at certain times of the year such planting, harvest, the New Year, or at certain times of life – birth, puberty, marriage, and death. They may also be made in times of danger, sickness, crop failure, or at the time of building, in battle, or for giving thanks. Since religious sacrifice is mostly carried out in traditional or tribal society, people may be required to sacrifice food or other goods they can ill afford to give away; slaves and prisoners have been used for the purpose of human sacrifice.
An example of animal sacrifice is in Santeria, the Spanish name for the Lucumi religion of Africa, which was brought to Cuba by slaves and where it practice of monthly white rooster sacrifices continues. Santeria has spread to Florida (where it has 15,000 to 20,000 adherents), New York, California and Texas. The Santeria initiation ceremony consists of nine days of rituals in which more than 100 goats, rams, roosters and other domestic animals are slaughtered in the name of the supreme god, Oludumare, and the orishas that are protector gods.