A rite of passage is an event, achievement or ceremony that marks a person’s passing from one stage of life to another. A rite of passage involves a change of status in one’s society. The term rite of passage comes from a French phrase first coined by the ethnographer Arnold van Gennep in his work Les rites de passage published in 1909. A rite of passage is marked by three stages: (1.) separation, when a person withdraws from his current status and prepares to move into a different place of status (2.) liminality, which is the transition stage, the period between belonging to particular places of status, when a person has left his previous status but not yet arrived at his new status (3.) incorporation, when the passage to the new state or place of status is complete and recognized ritually by the person. At this time, the person is reincorporated into the society in his new place of status. The plural of rite of passage is rites of passage.
A Rite of Passage That Pushes Young Girls Into Sex and Marriage (The Observer)
How the Iowa State Fair became a political rite of passage (The Washington Post)
Circumcision in some African communities (and of course in many other non-African communities too) is seen as a rite of passage into manhood. (The Rand Daily Mail)
It even remains indelibly associated with the Singaporean rite of passage of the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE), although Cerebos Pacific, which owns the brand, has never run advertising campaigns in conjunction with PSLE results. (The Straits Times)
Graduation albums a rite of passage (The Korea Herald)
Like a rite of passage, qualifying for the U.S. Open signifies a player’s status as having “made” it as a professional tennis player, even if that career is short-lived. (The Huffington Post)