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rite of passage n.
A ritual or ceremony signifying an event in a person's life indicative of a transition from one stage to another, as from adolescence to adulthood.
ceremonial event, existing in all historically known societies, that marks the passage from one social or religious status to another. This article describes these rites among various societies throughout the world, giving greatest attention to the most common types of rites; explains their purposes from the viewpoints of the people observing the rites; and discusses their social, cultural, and psychological significance as seen by scholars seeking to gain an understanding of human behaviour.