A rite of passage is a celebration or ritual that marks an important moment in a person's life. For observant Jews, a bar or bat mitzvah is a major rite of passage.
Many cultures, religions, and societies observe rites of passage that signify and celebrate the change from childhood to adulthood or adolescence. In parts of Latin America, for example, a quinceañera is a rite of passage celebrating a girl's fifteenth birthday. In your family, turning sixteen may be a bigger deal, and getting a driver's license might feel like a rite of passage. The phrase was coined by a French anthropologist in the early 20th century.