In episode 4 of Shoukoku no Altair, Mahmut travels to the village of Tughril, his hometown. After disembarking from the wagon on which he arrived, he empties a bottle of liquid onto the earth (in a rather showy manner) and then kneels down, seemingly to pray or to mourn.

Mahmut emptying a bottle - Shoukoku no Altair, episode 4, 1:24

Why did he do that? This gesture appears to be portrayed as having some kind of ritual significance, but I don't know what to make of it.


I haven't seen the series, but it sounds like a libation, or ritual pouring of liquid. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libation . It is an ancient practice of many cultures, usually as an offering to a god or in remembrance of those who have passed on. If the series takes part in Japan, it may specifically be a Shinto or Buddhist practice, but if in an anonymous fantasy world, they probably generalized the custom. What you describe certainly fits with what the article states.

  • This show is specifically set in a place very much like medieval Turkey ("Torqye", as they call it), and is reportedly rather historically-accurate, so I get the feeling that there is some sort of culture-specific context here that I'm missing. – senshin Sep 4 '17 at 0:18
  • @senshin I cannot find anything specific either, except an image that shows that ceremonial libation was practiced in the Ottoman Empire. // You don't think he was honoring fallen comrades, or those who fought in his absence to defend his family or friends, or perhaps simply showing respect to hometown? Any of those might fit the general concept of libation. If the anime doesn't somehow clue you in, there are a lot of possibilities. – RichF Sep 4 '17 at 0:47

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