For your daughter’s quinceañera, an impactful rite of passage, it’s now customary to blend traditional Latin celebrations with modern American customs. Although this tradition dates back to Aztec times, it has changed throughout the years, and your daughter is no longer expected to leave the home at this age. However, the quinceañera is still a celebration of your daughter maturing and entering into adulthood. Keep the following themes in mind when you plan your big celebration.
- Unlike with other birthday celebrations, the quinceañera begins with a religious ceremony, which demonstrates the importance of both God and family in your daughter’s life. This ceremony is held in the Church and generally includes a full Mass. It is only after this important ceremony that the celebration, usually in the form of a ball with dancing, food, and festivities, begins.
- As with today’s Sweet 16 celebrations, a quinceañera is a large celebration including your daughter’s closest friends and family members. The celebrant often chooses a flowing gown for her grand entrance, and she may have a Court of close friends, also dressed in gowns and tuxedos. There are often fifteen individuals in this Court, and they may be involved in both the religious ceremony and the ball that follows.
- The changing of the shoes is a vital tradition for the ceremony. As a symbol of your daughter turning into a young woman, her father (or closest male relative) changes her flat shoes into high heels. After this symbolic event, the community can recognize your daughter as a young woman rather than a child.