In the United States there are several events that are considered to be a rite of passage. Most common is the act of receiving an academic degree, better known as graduation. Whether it’s from pre-school or high school, they are considered a milestone in a young adults life. Perhaps the most celebrated commencement ceremony is that from college. It’s considered a time where students step out into the “real world,” and for some, is usually celebrated with a party, car, or vacation.
However, rites of passage are not secluded only to the United States. While different countries have their own definition of what they consider growing up, people around the world have commemorated the act of children crossing over into adulthood for centuries. Below are a few customs that are celebrated around the world.
United Kingdom: The graduates at Oxford University get trashed - literally. After final exams they participate in a ritual called “trashing”. This is the practice of throwing items such as confetti, eggs, flower, shaving cream, silly-string, and even champagne at one another to celebrate graduation.
Sweden: In Sweden, the commencement ceremony starts off pretty similar to one in the United States. Speeches are given, and in certain schools awards are handed out. However, in Sweden they partake in utspring, which means “running out”. Wearing black suits if you are a boy and white summer dresses if you are a girl, the students all donning their school hats, literally run out of their school to their families waiting outside.
Japan: While not an actual graduation ceremony, Japan celebrates “Seijin no hi,” or Coming of Age Day. It is a Japanese holiday held every second Monday of January as a way to congratulate those who have turned 20 years old. It originated in 714 AD when a young prince marked his adulthood by wearing a new robe and hairstyle. Today, the male celebrants wear business suits and the female celebrants wear a special kimono called a furisode.
How will you be celebrating this graduation season? Share your story with fellow Skouters. Regardless of what you do or where you go after you receive your diploma, Skout wants to congratulate you on a job well done!