Habit denotes any regularly repeated action that is learnt by an individual and is observable any others. From birth till death we develop, a set of ways of actions with regard to eating, drinking, sleeping, movements, ets. Every repetitive action gets formed into what is known as habit. Habits are due to the adjustment of an individual to an environment and because of the conditioning and reinforcement that goes on continuously. There are certain habits which are m ore or less involuntary and are being performed even subconscious or semi consciously. For example, an afternoon nap after lunch, answering calls of nature as soon as one gets up from the bed or only after bed tea.
Custom represents the group behaviour. Custom is a pattern of action shared by some or all members of the society. It is the totality of the behaviour pattern carried by traditions. Habit is a personality trait whereas the custom is a group trait. Customs are very much like habits and represents group practices which get reinforced and stabilised in course of time. By the advantage of experience from a particular practice or behaviour the group tries to follow it again and again and recommends it not only for the present but also for the future. Such repeated patterns of behaviour are known as customs. Customs will mostly be based on beliefs, attitudes, values and also past experience. It is however, possible that succeeding generations may not know of a significance of a particular custom which has been passed on from the previous generation. It may be followed blindly without knowing its rationale or value.
It goes without saying that customs are dynamic and changing, also passing from generation to generation. Customs of one group may differ from the customs of other group. There are, however, possibilities of acculturation and the borrowing and assimilation of customs. For example, systems of marriage, modes of dress, hair style, different customs of eating., celebration of different festivals, etc