Can you think of any other kinds of rituals that are retained today even though their purpose is now remote or even nonexistent?
I am reminded of the long overused ritual of hazing that can still be found in many colleges around the country. One of the more newsworthy examples involved the Florida A&M Marching 100 Rattler Band from Tallahassee, Florida. One of the finest marching bands in the world, their members still (at least until recently) participate in a brutal form of hazing that resulted in the death of one of its drum majors. The band has been practicing it for years, with (apparently) full knowledge of the university and band director. The university has finally taken action, banning the band from competition for a year; about a dozen members of the band (many of them only part-time students) have been charged in their fellow member's death. Many university fraternities also still practice hazing rituals secretly, since most have been outlawed by their universities and national chapters.