What’s a quinceañera?

By: Jessica Garcia Saligan

Quinceañera is a tradition in Mexican and Southern European culture. It’s when a young lady, that is about to turn 15 years old, throws a big party to mark her passage from girlhood to womanhood.

While planning a quinceañera you need to start planning a year ahead to have everything ready on time. In the quince, the young lady gets to practice a performance. There are two performances; they do the first one to start off, and it is the Val’s. Val’s is a dance where you get to dance with your chambelanes. It is a way to start the party.

Right when they finish doing the Val’s they go on and do the surprise dance, in the surprise dance you will get to pick how many songs you want. A surprise dance is where you can show off your moves and dance the night away. It’s also a way you can bring people to the dance floor. Having a quinceañera is a way to create good memories with your loved ones, especially your family. It’s a memory you want to keep forever with you.

During these events a quinceañera is a very important, and one of the most beautiful moments, a young girl could, experience. Here are some traditions that occur during this special day.

The first is accessories and gowns. A puffy dress that she will have to choose on her own, along with her first pair of high heels, as well as a crown that either her parents or godparents have to buy her.

Also, you will get copas and a doll or a stuffed animal wearing the same dress as the quinceañera.

While dancing the val’s people will come in one by one and put the heels on the quinceañera. The heels represent your “first pair of heels” right after that you will get a crown. The crown means that you’re the princess of this special night. You will have a “mini you” come in and give you a doll or a stuffed teddy bear dressed as you. Back in the day, they would only use a doll but now most young girls are choosing a stuffed animal.

Then, there’s one more thing, there’s the ultimo regalo which means “the last present”. It’s the last present you will receive as a young lady. Right after you’re done with everything, you will get your copas, there’s either 16-18 copas, your quince court, your family, and your godparents. They get to go up with you and they make a toast to everyone including the quinceañera. Once everyone had made their toast, it is the young lady’s turn to make a toast and thank everyone for coming to her special day.

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