| Every culture has some form of a rite of passage. Each is very important in one way or another, if not personally, then publicly. The Vulcan and Klingon cultures are no different. The Vulcans have at least three rites of passage, the kahs-wan, the more extreme Tal'oth, and then the Kolinahr. The Age of Ascension, growing up, becoming a warrior, is seemingly the most important to the Klingons.
First, we'll discuss the kahs-wan and the Rite of Tal'oth. Both rituals take place in a vast desert on the planet Vulcan called the Forge. The kahs-wan is a maturity test. The participants: young Vulcans, preteens. The Rite of Tal'oth, however, comes a little later in life, around a young adult age. During kahs-wan, the Vulcan is sent out into the Forge to survive ten days without food, water, or weapons. The Tal'oth requires four months of survival with only a ritual blade. Both are dangerous tests, and to fail kahs-wan once is not considered a disgrace. Starfleet member, and Vulcan, Tuvok once mentioned that Starfleet training is far less challenging than the Rite of Tal'oth.
Vulcans also have the Kolinahr. This is when one would become a true Vulcan, a process in which all vestigial emotions are purged. Once succeeded, the result will be a fully disciplined mind, one that looks to logic first. The ritual of Kolinahr varies from Vulcan to Vulcan, ranging to two years to six. And some do not even complete the process, like Tuvok, who left due to pon farr, or Enterprise crew member Spock, who left due to strong communications with another being that intailed strong emotions.
Next, we have the Klingon rite of passage, the Age of Ascension. Traditionally done at the age of thirteen, this is the entrance in adulthood for a Klingon warrior. Saying "DaItjaj SuvwI'e' jitt. tIgwIj Sa'angNIS. Iw bIQtIq. (Today I am a warrior. I must show you my heart. I travel the River of Blood.)," the ascendant walks through two lines of warriors who subject him to pain sticks, prod-like devices used for ritualistic or submissive purposes. During this, he or she is expected to express his or her most profound feelings. In celebration of the ascension to adulthood, many Klingons repeat the event on an anniversary day, such as ten years later as Enterprise-D crew member Lt. Commander Worf had.
Each rite of passage is important to its culture, whether it be as grueling as the Vulcan kahs-wan, or a Klingon warrior's new "level of spirituality." Younger or older, each one opens a new door for the participant stepping out of the state of yesterday and into the state of tomorrow.