The quinceañera is a traditional celebration in the Latin-Hispanic world. It celebrates the passage of a young girl from childhood to adulthood at the age of 15 (« quince años » en Spanish).
The exact origin of this celebration is not known, nevertheless Mexico would be the first country to have practiced the quinceañera. The quinceañera could be inspired by the debutante balls that took place in Europe, however some versions indicate an Aztec origin.
Originally, this celebration was rather reserved for wealthy families, surely with the aim of introducing these young girls of marriageable age to future suitors. Many families go into debt in order to have the best party possible.
The quinceañera is similar to a wedding party : the girl wears a dress resembling a wedding dress but often in pink tones, she often has a bouquet of flowers matched to the colors of the dress, she may even have bridesmaids!
The party is usually divided into two parts: the religious mass and the ball.
At the opening of the ball the girl and her father dance a waltz together. She then dances with her partners and the coronation takes place, where she is crowned with a diadem. One of the existing rituals consists in putting on the girl’s shoes with high heels instead of the flat heels she has been wearing since the beginning of the party.
The quinceañera is a day as important as a wedding!