Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Quinceañera, a coming of age celebration

The origin of the quinceañera can be traced back to the Aztecs about 500 B.C. Fifteen was the age at which boys became warriors and girls were also presented to the community because they were looked upon as the vital force of the tribe.

A rite of passage for fifteen-year-old girls, it is a community celebration to honor the young woman into adulthood. Full of tradition, the celebration usually consists of having fourteen young girls called damas and fourteen young men called chambelanes.


The celebration begins with a blessing at the church where the Quinceañera and her parents reaffirm her baptism vows. Then the celebration moves to the town square or a large gathering space. Before the dance begins, the Quinceañera hands over her last doll to the youngest  female member of the family and with the assistance of her parents, her shoes (flats) are changed for heels, and she dances a special song with her dad. Usually, by this time there isn't a dry eye in the place.  

Then, the Quinceañera with her damas and chambelanes dance a coordinated routine, beginning the festivities.

Of course there's food...lot's of it.

*The picture above is of my niece who celebrated hers a few years ago.


11 comments:

  1. My Aunt had one, and I went to it. Wish I had one that's for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a wonderful custom. And, wow, what a dress!

    ReplyDelete
  3. How fun! I love her dress - it reminds me of Belle's ballgown in my favorite movie, Beauty and the Beast.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very nice post :) Your niece's dress is gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks.
    LM, I never had one either.

    Deb, it was a beauty and the beast theme. =) Beast made an appearance at the ball. It was great.

    Thanks for all your great comments.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a beautiful dress! I can see the resemblance to Belle's.

    ReplyDelete
  7. A lovely custom, and wow, what a dress!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I wish there was something similar when/where I grew up. I just got older.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It's a shame that so many old customs get forgotten and pushed aside. I love that this one is still celebrated by so many. She's a beautiful girl in a beautiful gown.

    ReplyDelete
  10. So many cultures have similar traditions. Thanks for sharing this one. I loved picture of the beautiful girl in the gorgeous gown! :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by! I had to turn on the word verification due to spammers. Sorry for the inconvenience.