A rite is a ceremony or event that leads to a new phase of life, like high school graduation or a bat mitzvah.
Rites are rituals. Religions in particular have many rites, which include celebrations and sacraments such as baptism or confession. But people also use this word for any kind of event that signifies moving through a stage of life. For a football player, getting your first touchdown is a "rite of passage." Even a job interview could be considered a rite — it's a traditional ritual, something everyone has to go through before landing a first job.