Religion is always serious play and playful seriousness, and so one would expect to feel real joy and vivacity in the precinct of a genuine shrine. In many cultures today people place flowers and food at the base of a shrine or even around and on top of the holy figures, knowing, as people have recognized for millennia, that a shrine is a real abode and that the spirits who inhabit the shrine are real and authentic.

Thomas Moore, The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life