Quinceañera Party Planner in Panama City Beach, FL
Quinceañera is the Spanish word for a girl who is 15 years old. This celebration is common among Latinos in the United States and the rest of the Hispanic/ Latino world, especially Mexico. The coming-of- age party takes place on a girl’s 15th birthday where she is to be presented to society and all give thanks for her life and existence.
The Quinceañera has its origins many centuries ago when both boys and girls participated in rites of passage within the native Indians of Latin America and Mexico, the Aztecs, Mayans, etc. It is a very important Ceremony for our Hispanic Culture. To prepare for womanhood, girls were separated from other children at a certain age, so the elder women and their mothers could teach them about their future roles as members of family and community. This did not mean that they were ready to get married nor engaged to be married. It was a simple act to pray to their gods and thank them for their daughters. During the official rites of passage, the community would thank the gods for the future wives and mothers, and the young women would vow to serve the community.
Later, missionaries from Spain turned the event into a personal affirmation of faith by the young women and a pledge to become good Christian wives and mothers. The Aztec altar was substituted for the Catholic/ Christian Altar. A church celebration became an important part of the occasion. This is a very strong Catholic tradition yet, it is celebrated among many Christian churches. The Quinceañera celebration often is a lavish party that may include a mariachi band, a feast and many guests—much like a wedding. She wears a white dress meaning purity, white gloves, a tiara and many other accessories that could remind you of a wedding. Planning for a Quinceañera can start as early as the birth of a daughter. The family and godparents save up money until the girl is of age. Actual preparations may take anywhere from six months to a year and a half. Dances have to be learned, decorations decided upon, cakes to be ordered, and in some cases, dresses made. The most important part of the celebration is the Mass at Church. Before the party, everybody gathers at the church for a Christian service in thanksgiving for their daughter and to ask God, our Lord, to bless her future life.
Recently in United Stated, Mexico, Europe and other countries, the young woman wears an elaborate dress in white, pastel or, more recently, bold colors. Traditions vary, but they may include:
- Receiving a church blessing
- Having 14 male and female attendants and escorts, called damasand chambelanes, to represent the Quinceañera’s previous 14 years of life
- Presenting a porcelain doll to a younger sister to symbolize leaving childhood behind, or receiving a final doll from her godparents
- The banquet, fiesta, and a big celebration
- Changing from flats into high-heeled shoes to represent becoming a young woman
- Dancing the first dance with her father (very emotional), which more than likely will be “The Waltz”, or a daughter and father song picked up by the young women.