Jun 14, 2016
In Latin American cultures, girls celebrate the transition into womanhood on their 15th birthday with a special celebration known as a Quinceañera. This is similar to a Sweet 16 party in the United States, but with religious roots and many unique traditions. Here are 10 fun Quinceañera traditions you may want to incorporate into your party:
1.) Church Ceremony
A traditional Quinceañera party starts off with a church ceremony where the girl is accompanied by a court of her peers, her parents and her God parents.
2.) The Court
A court of 14 girls (damas) and 14 boys (chambelans) accompanies the girl on her big day, participating in festivities and ceremonies. The 14 couples represent each year of the girl’s life.
3.) First Dance
The first dance at a Quinceañera is reserved for the girl’s father.
4.) The Gown
The Quinceañera gown is traditionally very elaborate. Huge ball gowns with layers of tulle netting are worn to achieve a princess look. Light pink and white are the most commonly worn colors.
5.) The Food
No party is complete without food. Quinceañera celebrations are known for their elaborate feasts and foods served represent the culture of the girl.
6.) Parent Participation
Unlike other coming-of-age traditions, the Quinceañera requires heavy parental involvement during ceremonies and festivities.
Elaborate parties are expensive and it’s traditional for families and even communities to pitch in for the festivities. Sponsors can be neighbors or relatives.
8.) Candle Lighting
During the ceremonial part of the Quinceañera, a girl will light candles to honor those that have played an important role in her life. It is traditional for the girl to choose 15 people.
The first public dance, first pair of heels and first time being allowed to date are all milestones marked by the Quinceañera.
Unlike a regular birthday party, a Quinceañera involves gifts that are more symbolic such as bibles, rosaries, dolls and more.