Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The term often relates to the transition from childhood to adulthood, and may involve secret or private procedures and/or painful and difficult trials before the initiate can become a "real" or "accepted" man or woman who the community is bonded to; and who is bonded to the community.
- Hunter-gatherer societies have a reputation for dramatic pre-requisites before an initiate can become a full adult, marriageable member of society.
- In Christianity, baptism is an initiation rite. Some Christian churches offer a traditional sacrament of confirmation as an initiation rite recognizing full membership in itself and a re-capping of infant baptism; others are more strict.
- In Judaism, a Bar Mitzvah or a Bat Mitzvah ceremony performs a similar religious coming-of-age function.
- Many school systems feature a graduation ceremony as an initiation rite marking the end of a stage of learning.
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