A rite of passage is a ritual event that marks a person's transition from one status to another. Milestones within puberty, coming of age, marriage and death. Initiation ceremonies such as baptism, confirmation and Bar or Bat Mitzvah are considered important rites of passage for people of their respective religions. Rites of passage show anthropologists what social hierarchies, values and beliefs are important in specific cultures.
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“A woman can get marries and her life does change. And a man can get married and his life changes. But nothing changes life as dramatically as having a child. . . . In this country, it is a particular experience, a rite of passage, if you will, that is unsupported for the most part, and rather ignored. Somebody will send you a couple of presents for the baby, but people do not acknowledge the massive experience to the parents involved.”
—Dana Raphael (20th century)