Coming of Age

In different cultures, there are different ages of importance and different celebrations for each one. In the USA, “Sweet Sixteen” parties are popular as well celebrations for ages 18 (the marker of legal adulthood) and 21 (legal age of alcohol consumption). In Jewish culture, boys and girls around the age of 13 celebrate their Bar (for boys) or Bat (for girls) Mitzvah. This signifies their adherence to Jewish law and their responsibility to remain committed to it. Rumspringa is an Amish tradition. People turning 16 are allowed to leave their families and experience the “modern world.” They are allowed to dress in modern clothes, listen to other music, consume alcohol, and step outside of the limitations in which they were raised. At the end of this time, they either renounce their family and the Amish faith, or they return and are baptized into adulthood. In many parts of Central and South America (as well as all over the world), girls celebrate their Quinceanera when they turn 15 years old. This tradition usually begins with a Catholic mass where the girl renews her baptismal vows as well as her commitment to her faith and family. Following the ceremony is a party filled with friends, family, eating, drinking, and dancing. Learn more about these celebrations and many other coming of age traditions with us at HolidaySmart!