No, your Quinceañera is not just another excuse for your parents to party!! A Quinceañera is a longstanding tradition inside the Latino culture, and it is widely celebrated in the United States today.
There is a contradiction as to the onset of the Quinceanera tradition. Many say that it started many years ago when the Spanish conquerors brought the traditions to Mexico; however, on the other hand, it has been noted that its origination is from the Aztecs.
Regardless, the Quinceañera celebration is a rite of passage traditionally celebrated by Hispanics in Latin America. Here are some of the traditions commonly associated with a Quinceañera celebration.
The religious ceremony or mass is also known as the thanksgiving mass, and traditionally this is a time when the young girl renews her baptismal promise by keeping her relationship commitment to God and the Virgin Mary.
The Changing of the Shoes
The changing of shoes is a beautiful ceremony when the father changes his daughter's shoes, and replaces them with her first pair of heels. This tradition is a gift from the parents.
Mariachi Band Serenade
A tradition that has not seen much exposure is the serenading by a Mariachi band the night before her celebration.
The Waltz/Vals is the entrance dance welcoming her into her grand ball. It is her introduction to her honored guest with a choreographed dance with her court de honor.
The father-daughter dance is the first dance she shares with her dad. The father usually chooses the song.
The dance is symbolizing her first public dance and recognizing that her father is the first man in her life.
The Gown is a symbol of her first formal dress. Traditionally, the gown was mainly white; however, today with a wide array of dresses the traditional colors are no more.
The Court de Honor
The court is her party and traditionally is made up of fourteen chambelane's and fourteen damas, plus an escort for the quinceañera. This symbolizes her age when adding the couples in her court, herself and her escort.
The quinceañera doll is made to resemble the young girl, and it symbolizes the detachment of leaving her child-like possessions behind as she becomes a woman.
There is a bracelet, or a ring, usually gifted from the godparents. The symbol is round to symbolize the unfailing love that God has for her.
The Tiara is her means to embrace the princess that she is in God.
The wearing of earrings
The wearing of earrings is not a symbolic gift, but a reminder to keep her ears open to God's message.
The Bible is the most significant symbol in her commitment to faith in Christ. It is with His word that she will find answers.
The Quinceañera or in English Sweet 15 celebration is a beautiful time in a young Latina girls life. The traditions are deeply rooted in God and her walk with her faith. Although there are many traditions, there is also a big party where she shares much laughter, delicious food, decadent sweets, lavish and beautiful decor and many great gifts. She is a princess!