The fifteenth birthday is very important for girls in many Latin American countries and in some Hispanic communities in the US. It’s called Quince or Quinceañera (15 years). It marks a girl becoming an adult. It’s a bit like the Jewish Bar Mitzvah, a Sweet 16 Party and a Debutante Ball all mixed into one. It’s a right of passage.
The custom for the party varies from country to country. The birthday girl wears a fancy dress that’s traditionally a pastel color or pink. Many wear a tiara. There’s normally a religious ceremony at church involving the parents and godparents.
The party is typically a big dance like a ball, sometimes including a waltz. The ball may highlight a dance with the father or boyfriend.
One tradition in some countries is The Ceremony of the 15 Candles. The girl gives candles to 15 people who were important to her in her childhood.
There’s also the Tradition of the Last Doll. The girl gives away her last doll or trades it in for a bouquet. It’s a symbol of giving up the toys of childhood and becoming an adult.
Another tradition, which reminds me of Cinderella, is where the girl goes to the party in flat heeled shoes and trades them in for high heels, which the father may put on her as part of the ceremony.
Feel free to share your Quinceañeras traditions in the comments below.
This artilce was posted on Friday, November 11th, 2011 at 10:05 pm and is filed under Argentina, Birthdays, Colombia, Costa Rica, Countries & Cultures, Cuba, Customs and Traditions, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hispanic, Holidays Around the World, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Quince, Quinceaneras, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.