Everyone loves celebrating birthdays. It is possibly the happiest day of the year for many. However, the 15th birthday of a Mexican girl is an extraordinarily special day for her, her family and friends. This day is celebrated as the Quinceañera of the girl. It marks her transition from being a young child to a young adult as she takes her first steps into womanhood. This age-old tradition signifies the separation of the girl from her friends in order to be taught her responsibilities of being a wife, running a family and her role in the community for the future.
The Quinceañera is a traditional church celebration that is followed by a party including dancing, food and drinks, fancy clothes and the coming together of all. The girl who is the Quinceañera generally dresses in a ball gown specially tailor-made for her special day. Dancing is the core of this celebration. However, there is no specific dance form that is performed. Guests can choose to perform any genre of dance, right from ballroom and Latin American to jazz and contemporary. Families celebrating Quinceañeras often like to take classes and perform synchronized routines at the parties. One can find the best classes and choreographies for Quinceañera celebrations at The Jewel of Art Dance Studion in San Antonio, TX. They are well known to help families and friends gain skill, technique, and confidence to perform at the reception party.
Customarily, as a part of the ceremonial practices, the Quinceañera must receive:
- A tiara that denotes a princess before God who has overcome childhood and is ready to take on the challenges of a young adult
- A cross or medal that represents faith in God, in herself and in the world
- A bible or prayer book a rosary that ensure the word of God in her future life
- And a scepter that represents authority and responsibility for her life.
Certain moments of the Quinceañera ceremony are iconic. One of the most cherished moment is that of changing the shoes. The father of the girl removes his daughter’s shoes and slips on a brand new pair of high heels. The removal of flat shoes and wearing of high heels marks her transition from being a child to now a young woman.
At the party after the church ceremony, the friends and family raise a toast to the Quinceañera, this is known as the Brindis. Champagne glasses are beautifully decorated and the guests bless and wish the girl the best.
Another iconic component of the celebration is that of the Last Doll. It is used as a piece of decoration as well as for keepsake. The Doll represents the last of the girl’s childhood. It symbolizes the girl’s childhood being left behind and her first steps as a young woman. In some customs, the Quinceañera’s younger sibling gets the last doll.
The Quinceañera is known as the Quince (XV) Años, is a glorious and cherished occasion and an honored tradition.