Birthdays are special occasions that you may throw a party for but quinceañeras could cost as much as a wedding. Freshman Jasmine Alaniz had her quinceañera on Oct. 12 in Durango, Mexico to celebrate her 15th birthday. She was there for two weeks and has had her ball gown dress since she was 13 years old.
A quinceañera is a celebration to mark a Latina girl’s coming of age. “The quinceañera begins with a Mass in order to bless the celebration. Once the Mass is over, everyone goes to the reception. At the reception, there is the changing of the shoes where the girl changes from flats to heels. During this time, she is crowned, given her last doll and a golden pendent. Then the party starts with a waltz followed by a father-daughter dance,” Alaniz said. The birthday girl is given a bouquet of flowers signifying the first flowers given to her as a woman. Another tradition is for the girl to break 15 piñatas, one for every year of her life and cutting of the birthday cake.
Parents and godparents play a huge role in this celebration. Godparents usually offer to help plan the quince and cover some of the expenses of the ceremony. They could also give the young woman religious gifts such as a rosary, a rosary book or a holy medal.
“I had been planning my quince for three years. There were about 250 people there to celebrate. My favorite part was the father daughter dance. It was a little more fun than I expected but everything went as planned,” Alaniz said.