The World’s Coolest Coming Of Age Traditions

Published August 17, 2013
Updated January 11, 2017
Coming Of Age Traditions

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Though coming of age traditions vary drastically from culture to culture, nearly every society designates specific rituals, ceremonies, and traditions as a way to symbolize and celebrate the transition from child to adult. Here are six of the world’s coolest coming of age traditions that mark the wonderful passage from childhood into adulthood.

Jewish Coming Of Age Traditions: The Bar and Bat Mitzvah

The bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah are coming of age ceremonies for Jewish boys and girls, respectively. Under Jewish Law, individuals are only required to formally observe the commandments once they reach a specific age (12 for girls, 13 for boys). While this change occurs automatically once the child reaches that age, a bar or bat mitzvah is often held to celebrate the boy or girl’s coming-of-age and publicly mark the individual’s right to now participate in religious ceremonies, count in the minyan, or form contacts.

While the ceremony does not indicate that the child is physically an adult, it does so mentally and emotionally with the emphasis on the individual’s increased culpability and responsibility. The name itself “bar” or “bat mitzvah”, translates into son or daughter of the mitzvah, since from that point on the individual much abide by the mitzvahs (also known as commandments or laws) of the Torah.

Like most coming of age traditions, bar and bat mitzvahs lack a singular, definitive template, but most contain an aliyah as well as a reading from the Torah or haftorah by the child obtaining bar or bat mitzvah.

Coming Of Age Traditions Bat Mitzvah 1

Source: Blogspot

Coming Of Age Traditions Bar Mitzvah Ceremony

Source: Verite Photo

Much like other coming of age traditions and celebrations, reaching “adulthood” isn’t cheap: the bar or bat mitzvah is often expensive, and requires weeks of preparation and education beforehand. Following the ceremony, a reception often as grand as a wedding follows, in which the individual is celebrated. Family and friends come together to join in the fun.

Kiri Picone
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Picone, Kiri. "The World’s Coolest Coming Of Age Traditions.", August 17, 2013, Accessed June 14, 2024.