What? Sweet 15 is a major milestone in a girl’s life—a long-established celebration all over the world. As a time-honored tradition for girls, planning this celebration takes a great deal of planning. The attention to rich culture and tradition is important and many celebrate it differently. Adding a little extra must fit your taste and that of your family’s customs. The beginnings of Quinceañera go way back to the combining of Christianity, the Aztec religion and lifestyle when the Spanish conquered the Aztec Indians in the 1500’s. It is still popular amongst the Hispanics in Mexico, the United States, South America and in other Spanish-speaking countries.
Purpose? This special celebration marks the beginning of womanhood as she “comes out” to be presented to society. Tradition places additional responsibilities on the young woman after her Quinceañera such as household duties, family needs, work, volunteerism, or even marriage. While a great deal of attention is placed on the party and the celebration, the basic belief is for the young woman to live a life of faith, good moral principles, devotion to her community and live a wholesome lifestyle. The ceremony is value and moral centered. Like the milestone markers of birth, baptism, and confirmation, the Quinceanera gives thanks to God.
Spiritual reverence is important for some families planning this event. They also have the duty to assist with the financial costs of the event along side the godparents and other special friends and family members.
Decide who will be members of your court. Fourteen couples (one for each year of your life) are chosen. Fourteen Damas (maids of honors) and fourteen chamberlanes (chamberlains) may include family members and/or close friends. You might also consider having flower girls to scatter rose petals or to carry a basket of flowers. Visit the pages through this site for planning tips & ideas.
When? Customs & Traditions. The birthday girl is serenaded by a mariachi band in front of her house the night before her 15th birthday . A celebration is planned for her birth date or the Saturday closest to her birthday—Quinceañera!
Where? Typically, a church mass is celebrated. The dinner and dance celebration can be held at the church hall, a reception/banquet hall, or other unique possibilities.
How? will have a touch of protocol and a touch of special creativity as discussed with your Priest or Pastor. As with most ceremonies, consider the following as ideas:
-Special Scripture or Poem reading by a designated person
-Candle Lighting Ceremony (14 candles for the Court, parents, Godparents and the Quinceañera)
-Signing of the Certificate (Parents and Godparents can personally sign)....see above certificate
-Acknowledgement and Recognition of other "special people"
-Special Prayer or Verse
After the Court is presented and then the Quinceanera, special dances are reserved as follows:
The first dance is a waltz danced with the Quinceanera and her father
The Court of Honor is presented
The Godparents join in
Lastly, the dance floor is open for guests
Males usually take turns dancing with the Quinceanera
After this presentation, the toast is given and the cake is served.