What Is A Quinceanera, Quinceanera Traditions
A big Celebration is happening everyday in Mexico and in other Latin American countries. A quinceanera is the biggest celebration for a girl, in transition from childhood to womanhood.
Is an honor to present a girl (quinceanera) to the temple and celebrate her Fifteen birthday (thanks giving Mass). She usually wears a beautiful long dress, gloves, first time high heels, even make up is allowed for the first time.
A bouquet of flowers she presents & leaves in the altar before she leaves the temple as a thank you gift to God.
She chooses her Padrinos (Godparents) who are the care witness of this celebration; chambelanes (chamberlains) or/and damas (maids of honor).
For the Chambelanes or damas; the quinceanera must choose fourteen kids (Seven girls-Sevenboys/optional) the total will be fifteen kids including la quinceanera & they must all be under fifteen yrs.
All friends for the court represents and are witness of the change of the quinceanera; from a girl to a young lady.
The quinceanera must sit by herself in a special seat in the middle of the temple close by the altar, including her own special cushion to protect her knees when she kneels on the mass. Usually the quinceanera decides what theme she would like to have and if she wants a dress code for padrinos, parents, damas and chambelanes.
Padrinos seating is just behind the quinceanera and chanbelanes and damas are behind the padrinos; they must stay together so they all can witness the quinceanera. For the seating arrangement, usually the church organizer will practice the seating with the quinceanera & family prior to the event.
In the U.S is celebrated as the sweet sixteen. Both has the same symbol; maturity, responsibility & womanhood.
It’s interesting how this culture celebrate La quinceanera and you will see the happiness of all the families when they are planning this celebration, (quinceanera); and also you will presence sadness too, because that little girl is becoming a woman starting that day… in her quinceanera day.
Quinceaneras parties or quince celebration has a special touch because it has a beautiful meaning behind it. It gives the opportunity to the quinceanera or quinceanero to be the shining star in their fifteen birthday.
After the church presentation/ Misa is over; one of her damas will pass the favors (Recuerdos) to the people who attended the quince mass, meanwhile she delivers the bouquet to the Virgin Mary or Virgin of Guadalupe or to whoever they decide to give it to, on the altar.
It is time to take some pictures outside the church with family and friends. After the mass, it’s followed by a quince bash (fiesta de la quinceanera).
La fiesta could be in a hall, in a ranch or in the neighbors house, in the patio…no matter where it is the quince party the importance of this is having good food, favors, vals (walts) or maybe a live band, Oh! Don’t forget the liquor, are the component of a traditional quinceanera.
This quinceanera tradition has being passing from generation to generation; the celebration of a quinceanerahasexisted for many years & continues to grow.
Now in days quince parties are seen all over the world in magazines, reality shows, etc. Even quince guys “Quinceaneros” are doing a big party for this day too. You go guys! Don’t stay behind; this is similar to a bat mitzvah that jewish people celebrate.
The origins of this quinceanera tradition, celebration (quinceanera) come from the Aztecs roots in México according from the chronicle of La Historia de Nueva Espana.
Everybody enjoys witnessing a quinceanera o quince celebration.
Regardless of how the tradition originated, what it matters is that the celebration of the quinceañera remains as one of the rites of passage that keeps the bonds of the Hispanic family firmly cemented. It becomes a sweet dream to each Latina girl…waiting for the big day! That’s what all girls talk about…her quinceanera.
Now you know what is a quinceanera. If you ask a young lady, she will respond… It is the best day ever!
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