From "Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon" (2003) by Brian Rosebury

This text is reproduced exclusively for the purposes of discussion on The One

[page 42] 

Now more torches were being lit. A cask of wine was broached. Storage barrels were being opened. Men were fetching water from the fall.
Some were laving their hands in basins. A wide copper bowl and a white cloth were brought to Faramir and he washed.

‘Wake our guests,’ he said, ‘and take them water. It is time to eat.’ Frodo sat up and yawned and stretched. Sam, not used to being waited
on, looked with some surprise at the tall man who bowed, holding a basin of water before him.

‘Put it on the ground, master, if you please!’ he said. ‘Easier for me and you.’ Then to the astonishment and amusement of the Men he
plunged his head into the cold water and splashed his neck and ears.

‘Is it the custom in your land to wash the head before supper?’ said the man who waited on the hobbits.

‘No, before breakfast’, said Sam. ‘But if you’re short of sleep cold water on the neck’s like rain on a wilted lettuce. There! Now I can keep
awake long enough to eat a bit ...’

Before they ate, Faramir and all his men turned and faced west in a moment of silence. Faramir signed to Frodo and Sam that they should
do likewise.

‘So we always do,’ he said, as they sat down: ‘we look towards Númenor that was, and beyond to Elvenhome that is, and to that which is
beyond Elvenhome and will ever be.
Have you no such custom at meat?’

‘No’, said Frodo, feeling strangely rustic and untutored. ‘But if we are guests, we bow to our host and after we have eaten we rise and thank

‘That we do also’, said Faramir. (TT, 284-5)