The Quinceanera is a magical time in a young girl’s life. Perhaps your sister, cousin, or even an aunt is having their Quince anos celebration. Of course, you want to share in all the events. But do you know all about the Quinceanera itself?
What is a Quinceanera?
The Quinceanera celebrates a girl’s fifteenth birthday party. Many Quince girls go to church and attend a special Mass, called the Misa de Acción de Gracias. The priest blesses them and says a prayer that they’ll remain faithful to their friends and family. The quince girl’s family and a special set of godparents, called padrinos, attend the Mass with her.
After the Mass, it’s time for a party! The Quince fiesta is a huge event that lasts almost all night. Many of your friends and family will be there to help the quince girl celebrate.
Why do we have Quinceaneras?
Because of tradition! The history of the Quinceanera goes back hundreds of years, to the Aztek Empire of South America. In those times, young girls became an adult when they turned fifteen. Some even got married that young!
Today, the Quinceanera is meant to welcome a girl into becoming a young woman. It’s a time for families to celebrate together, and to be proud of their quince girl and her beauty.
What are the tiara and sceptre?
Tradition says that all young girls are princesses on their Quince anos. The tiara is to show how the quince girl officially becomes a young woman. It’s sometimes given to her by her grandmother. At other times, her godmother will place the tiara on her head during the Mass.
The sceptre is like a baton, but with jewels and other special decorations. Sceptres are held when a queen or princess is in command of her kingdom. Because quince girls “rule” over their fiesta, they get to use a sceptre for the night.
What Is the Ultima Muneca?
The ulitima muneca, or Last Doll, is a symbol of the quince girl leaving childhood behind. If that sounds mean, most fifteen year old girls are ready to put their toys away.
In one tradition, the quince girl exchanges the ultima muneca for a bouquet of flowers. After the Mass, she leaves the flowers at the altar as a prayer. In other traditions, the quince girl is given the doll at her fiesta. She may choose to throw it in the air, and the child that catches the doll gets to keep it.
What’s at the fiesta?
All kinds of fun! The quince girl’s parents and padrinos will have a large dinner prepared for everyone. After everyone eats, there’s a dance floor where everyone can let loose and have a good time. Some quince girls even give all their guests special gifts, called favors, as a thank you for coming.