As the Debutante industry in United States has grown, so have other traditions amongst different ethnic groups. One such group is the Hispanic culture that celebrates the coming of age of a teenager into womanhood.
Traditions Vary In Historic Terms
When an adolescent transforms into a woman varies significantly depending on the culture. With many Americans the age an adolescent turns into an adult can be signified in two ways. In a certain sense, when a girl has her first menses, or menstrual period it can be determined that she is now a young woman, since she is capable of giving birth. However, since that can be between the ages of 9 and 13, most people, including the legal system would actually determine the age of 18 to be the true coming of age. Some American girls participate in a debutante ball, between 16 and 18 years of age to celebrate that, as coming of age.
In the Latin American community, especially in Mexican and Central America, the coming of age is 15 years old. Since the majority of Latin Americans practice the Catholic faith, the Quinceanera formal ceremony is held in a Catholic church. This can actually be traced back as far as the ancient Aztec Indians, who believed a girl of that age was officially ready for marriage. In the 1400s and early 1500s, when the Spanish invaded modern-day Mexico, only the well to do held these popular events.
Before the 1960s Hispanic girls living in the United States did not participate, in these ceremonies. After that time, however, it has become increasingly popular. In 1990, the archdiocese in Los Angeles, California distributed guidelines for the masses associated with this celebration. They also began to perform multiple quince blessings on many girls at once, because the cost of these ceremonies and receptions had become financially burdensome to many people of lower income. Some celebrations have ballooned over $25,000.
Modern Times Influence Ancient Traditions
Fast forwarding to the 21st Century and you find no matter what the socioeconomic class, this celebration unique to the Hispanic culture is more popular than ever. Families pool their monies together to make sure they can put on the most extravagant birthday party money can provide. Just as a wedding occurs in a church, this does too. A bride wears a wedding gown and a girl of Latin culture turning 15 also wears a lavish gown of white or pink.
Aside from the dress, there are other participants that are a part of this celebration. These include the priest, birthday girl’s court, consisting of the 14 escorts and maidens, photographer, DJ for music, multi-tiered cake, caterer, and reception hall. Several rituals are performed during this celebration. In the church she is blessed by the priest and commits to her sexual virginity followed by her leaving her bouquet of flowers at the altar or near a statue of Mary representing her purity. The quince will give away a porcelain doll or stuffed animal to a young child to say goodbye to childhood. Remember these moments with a Photo Booth Rental in Miami.
At the reception, the quince, wears flat-soled shoes. Her father or guardian replaces those shoes with high-heeled ones that demonstrate her moving from girl to young woman. Certainly this tradition has a significant historical significance in Latin American communities and has only grown in popularity and shows no sign of slowing down in years to come.