A sacrifice is a ritual, in which something is "consumed", i.e. killed, destroyed, eaten or given away. The sacrificed may refer to the giver's person or characteristics, e.g. may a farmer sacrifice cattle, or it may refer to the receiver, i.e. a sacrifice of wine for the god of wine. Or it may refer to a union of the giver and receiver. In all cases the ritual of sacrifice establishes a connection between giver and receiver. That, which is sacrificed, comes to represent both worlds, the present and the supernatural. Source: Gads Religionsleksikon, 1999.
A sacrifice does not need to be a personal offer, but this is often the case in Andersen's oeuvre. Indeed,
The tales are sorted by year. The leading numbers refer to the number of occurrences of the motif in the respective texts.