Having been actively involved in fairly observant Jewish communities for almost 30 years now, I've experienced just about all of the holidays and life cycle rituals --- both major and minor. But last Sunday, was my first attendance at an "upsherin" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upsherin)---a celebration when a Jewish boy has his first hair-cut when he is three years old. It is traditional in Orthodox families not to cut a boy's hair before age three and it is only after that age that he will start to wear a kippah and tallit katan. This boy was born during Pesach and his bris was on the 8th day, so many of the family's observant friends and relatives could not attend the bris due to restrictions on "travel" during the holiday. The upsherin could not be closer to the boy's actual Hebrew birthday because traditional Jews do not cut hair during the counting of the Omer between the second day of Pesach and Shavuot, except for on Lag B'Omer (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lag_BaOmer), so that was the day of the upsherin.
The boy's parents spoke of how this marks the start of his Jewish education and how they are happy that he has a warm supportive Jewish community. They only cut one lock of hair. I had wondered if they would really give him a full hair-cut right during the party. My husband quipped that it was another Jewish party to celebrate a "cutting"
I re-read my post and realized that I used "Orthodox" as short-hand for ritually observant. But the family who was celebrating their son's hair-cut is in my lay-led egal minyan which is not Orthodox. Our services are "traditional", but we have no mechitza and women are allowed full ritual participation including leading any service, being called for an aliyah, reading Torah/Haftarah, or giving the d'var Torah. A "bat Cohen" or "bat Levi" may be called for the first or second aliyah respectively and they may participate in "duchening" (the ritual priestly blessing) at High Holiday services (we don't do it for the pilgrimage festivals though). A majority of members of the minyan keep kosher and are "Shomer Shabbat" (they do not drive on Shabbat, for example). Another "Orthodox-like" feature of our minyan is that the prayer leader stands back from the front towards the middle of the room facing the same direction as the other congregants, not up on a stage in the front facing the rest of the congregation, and we don't use amplification through microphones and speakers. In reality we are just a very traditional (small t) Conservative congregation, but my non-Orthodox friends who have visited have often assumed that we are Orthodox.
So I usually bristle when people use "Orthodox" to mean traditional or ritually observant, but the reality is that few non-Orthodox Jews are very traditionally observant these days. That's one reason that several of the minyan "kids", especially the ones who were brought up in very traditional families and attended Orthodox day schools, have joined Orthodox communities and married Orthodox spouses. The only minyan kid who has become a rabbi so far is an Orthodox rabbi (semicha from RIETS at YU).
The great thing about a traditionally observant Jewish life is that there are lots and lots of celebrations. And frum Jews do know how to celebrate. The Orthodox weddings I've been blessed to attend were amazing.