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Quinceanera or Quinceañera; Traditions And Modernization

A girl has to go through certain stages in her life. Stepping up to womanhood from childhood is the very first massive change in her life. Because at the age of 15, she’s neither a child nor a woman. Still, her fifteenth birthday is celebrated in style along with religious activities, what we know as quinceanera.

What Is Quinceanera?

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Traditional Photo Shoot Of Quinceanera

A young woman’s change from childhood to adulthood on her fifteenth birthday with traditional and religious activities is known as quinceanera. Of course, there are not just activities. Fun activities like gifts, dancing and music also come with it. Although, you can’t deny the truth behind the ultimate freedom. I mean, who doesn’t know that freedom always comes with prices? There are certain traditions in quinceanera and each of them has a specific meaning.

In short, a girl changes a lot both mentally and physically. This change can be scary sometimes. So to celebrate this, people arrange for a quinceanera party.

In early Spanish and Mesoamerican societies, people celebrated quinceanera to mark that the girl is now ready for marriage. Parents taught their girls homemaking skills like cooking and sewing. So when the girl turned 15, she was considered an adult in society. But the purpose was to find a suitable husband. Although the view of quinceanera is different now.

Well, comparing the past the view isn’t certainly the same anymore. Why? Because things have changed. The view towards life and lifestyle is certainly is different now. Of course in a good way though! In this blog, I’ll write down about quinceañera and its traditional facts.

What Are The Quinceanera’s Traditions?

Nowadays, a quinceanera is celebrated to welcome the girl for her journey from girlhood to womanhood. So you see the focus is totally changed. Although, some arrange for a smaller party now. Some girls don’t even show interest in celebrating quinceanera now. But still, a tradition is a tradition. I’ll write down all the traditions of a quinceanera and its meaning now.

Mass:
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Mass Ceremony Of Quinceanera

Well, this is the first step of the quinceanera. It begins with the ‘Mass’. This begins with the girl’s parent, godparent, and the court. Mass is the most important part of the quinceanera. Because, in this part, the girl commits herself to God and gives a speech about thanking God, her parents, and the court of honor. This tradition includes some rituals of presenting a cross or Bibel and a medallion to the girl. This part is run by her godparents. Somewhere, the girl is also gifted with a scepter. Now, each of them has a different meaning.

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Bible and Cross Gift Of Quinceanera
  • Bibel: The Bibel means the belief and faith in God, in herself, and in the world. It signifies the protection that will accompany the girl through the new stage of her life.
  • The Medallion: It symbolizes the faith in Creator and the protection that will accompany the girl as she is about to step into a new life.
  • Cross: The cross means the connection between the god and the girl. Everyone in this world is connected to God somehow. But this cross is to inspire the girl into a pious life.
The Court:
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Court De Honor Of Quinceanera

The quince (birthday girl) also plans on choosing the members of the court of honor. This court includes 7 males which are known as ‘Chambelanes’ and 7 female members called ‘Damas’. Actually, it depends on Quince’s choices. Like, How many couples she wants on her quinceañera. This court of honor includes the girl’s closest cousins, best friends, or neighbors.

So, the duty of the court members is to support the girl in her quince planning. For example, learning waltz, surprise dance, the special toast as well as other things.

The Dance:
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Dancing Of Quinceanera and Her Court

Well, after the religious part, the real party begins. And dance is a vital part of this party. It begins with the very traditional father-daughter dance. Because it signifies the quince’s first dance as a young adult woman. So, it is considered as one of the main events. If the quince doesn’t have a father just in case, any close male relative to the quince can do the work.

Some Rituals Are Really Deep:

You know, a quinceanera is really a wonderful and touching ceremony for the quince and her parents. Watching the female child growing up day by day with grace and poise? I think that’s one of the most longingly desired things for every parent. Witnessing one’s own girl turning into an adult is really lovely. There are loads of memories for sure.

Like the Mass, there is another part of the quinceanera. And this part is called, ‘The Fiesta’. And this part includes all the fun stuff like dance, food, drink, music, gifts, etc. Although some of them represent meaningful notes. I’ll write down those parts now:

The Ball Gown:
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Special Ball Gown For Quince

Well, the quinceanera dress is meant to be a fancy ball gown. Traditionally, the girl wears pink or white color. Red, light pink, and sky blue also gets a chance. The quince has a lot to do with selecting the perfect dress for her big day. As it is her first-ever formal occasion.

Changing The Shoes:
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Shoe Changing Ceremony Of Quinceanera

Although a pair of high heels goes fantastic with a ball gown, the quince wears flat shoes at the beginning of the ceremony. Later, quince’s father changes those flat shoes and wears the quince a pair of heels. This tradition signifies the girl is turning to an adult leaving her childhood with her first high heels.

Crowning:
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Crowning Ceremony Of Quinceanera

The crowing part is very important. This also includes a scepter. Mainly, the mother of the quince replaces the crown to and the godmother gives the scepter. The crown means the girl is a triumphant princess or an individual person in front of everyone now. And the scepter is her responsibility to the world and society.

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Scepter Of Mass Ceremony

This part is giving hints of liabilities and responsibilities to the family, society, and to the world as a mature young woman. So it’s pretty deep in meaning. Don’t you think?

Last Doll:
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Last Doll As A Reminder Of Childhood

This part seems really, really emotional to me. Here, the quince receives one last doll which is the last reminder of leaving her childhood. The quince keeps the doll stored with care so that she can see it whenever she wants and think of her girlhood.

And there’s another meaning here. The doll is for keep, so that every time the quince sees that doll through the ups and downs of life, she can remember that her parents are there for her. Like, she’s still the same little princess to her parents and her parents always love her.

Party Favors or Recuerdos:
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Idea Of Party Favors For Quince’s Guests

Well, this is a fun tradition of the quinceanera. Because it is always humble to give your guests a thank you gift. You can arrange it with a box of chocolates or colorful macaroons, candles, cross lockets, flowers, tiny marshmallows, etc.

Fancy Cake and Dinner Party:
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Special Cake For Quince

No occasion feels like real one unless it includes a cake. Right? Well, like other ceremonies, quinceanera also comes with cutting a cake. This is to celebrate the quince herself.

A hearty dinner party takes places after this. A dinner with the family members and the court members.

There are also other fun stuff of quinceañera. But these are the most meaningful.

Quinceañera; Then and Now:

Well, the time has certainly changed. Hasn’t it? Because the untold truth behind quinceanera in past years was to find a suitable husband for the quince. Or, to represent the quince in front of society that she is prepared for marriage. But now, many parents arrange this just to celebrate their girl’s leaving childhood to adulthood.

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Quince Cutiing Her Cake

Some also celebrate quinceanera to represent the girl as an adult that she can make decisions on her own now. Also, that the girl is ready to date anyone of her choice. Or she is ready for formal dates.

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Car For Quince

The upbringing of girls has changed night and day. Because girls are taking part in every sector of life and winning triumphantly. So, instead of changing shoes, parents represent the girl with a car to symbolize her freedom. This seems very relatable to the whole adulthood thing. Although a car as a gift sounds fancy still parents try to afford it. Also, the quince chooses to go on a trip abroad with her court members or friends. That is if she won’t have any shoe changing or car. So, I guess, things are pretty different nowadays. There are also some newest editions.

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Photo Booth For Quinceanera

Editions like, girls are requesting for a photo booth. It is one of their prime demands. The main part if the ceremony, ‘The Mass’ is avoided most of the quinceanera now. Girls want to focus just on “The Fiesta”. So, I guess, religious norms and behavior has lost their priority,

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Lastly, I hope my blog was useful to you. It’s not much, but I’ve tried to write everything I know.

Israt

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