About the Quinceanera Tradition
A Quinceañera is the Hispanic tradition of celebrating a young girl’s coming of age – her 15th birthday.
Today’s celebrations embrace religious customs, and the virtues of family and social responsibility. The Quinceanera tradition celebrates the young girl (la Quinceanera), and recognizes her journey from childhood to maturity. The customs highlight God, family, friends, music, food, and dance.
In the Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central and South American traditions, the custom can be referred to as a Quince (XV) Años, a quinces, a Quinceañera, a Quinceañero or a Fiesta Rosa.
The Quinceanera celebration traditionally begins with a religious ceremony. Most Christian churches now have a special rite written exclusively for the Quinceanera celebration. In Catholicism, the ceremony is called the Mass of Thanksgiving because the focus is on giving thanks to God for the gift of life.
A Reception is held in the home or a banquet hall. The festivities include food and music, and in most, a choreographed waltz or dance performed by the Quinceanera and her Court.
It is customary for the Quinceanera to choose special friends to participate in what is called the Court of Honor. Usually, these young people are her closest friends, her brothers, sisters, cousins – the special people in her life with whom she wants to share the spotlight. The Quinceanera’s Court of Honor can be comprised of all young girls (Damas), all young men (Chambelanes or Escortes) or a combination of both boys and girls.
The Quinceanera traditionally wears a ball gown, with her Court dressed in gowns and tuxedos. While in the past, it was usual for the girl’s dress to be white, that has changed and today, the girls choose from a wide of variety of colors and themes for their special day.
The mix of family and friends, young and old, near and far – all combine to make the celebration unique and special. Guests experiencing this beautiful tradition for the first time, frequently ask us, “Is a gift appropriate?” Yes, dear friends, a gift is appropriate. A Quinceanera or Sweet Sixteen celebration is basically a big birthday party (although a very special, very memorable one). So, anything that you think the young lady would like to receive would be an appropriate gift. We do suggest, however, that because this is such a unique birthday, that you select a gift that commemorates this very special event in her life.
Whatever you choose, we are certain that the young lady will appreciate your gift. Enjoy your experience!