In Japan there are zillions of ceremonies and one of the biggest ones is for people who have turned twenty and are therefore "adults". Today there was a ceremony at school for all the children in my daughter's class (all 11 of them....) celebrating the fact that they are now half way towards that big turning point in their lives. There was a ceremony where they received a certificate from the principal, endured her long speech about the fact that they would be able to vote when they turned 20 and would therefore be responsible for everything in the world. There was singing, a message from each child to their parents, a message to the children from the parents and small gifts all around. I personally am not particularly excited by all these ceremonies, but the children wanted to do it and spent hours practicing, decorating the room etc. It wasn't as bad as it could have been and the bonus of having a potluck lunch (actually not very "potluck" as one of the mothers insisted on having a meeting at school one night to organise who would bring what....) was worth the effort of going to school on a Sunday! This ceremony is not one that is "officially" recognised, but is just something that one of the teachers started at this school a few years ago. Here's hoping the next ten years prove to be a little less challenging than the first ten! Hope is a wonderful if not always realistic thing!