Celebrating a young girl having her 15th birthday, guiding her from girlhood to womanhood, is why the Quinceañeras was created. The Quinceañera, quinceaños, quince años, also referred to as quince is both a religious and a social event that focuses on family. The tradition started in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The birthday is also celebrated throughout the United States in Latino communities.

The party usually consists of attendees including the family of the girl and her godparents. After Mass, they attend a reception, or some form of a party, with food, music, and of course dancing. The girl has a “court” of damas also known as maids of honor or chambelánes, which are chamberlains. Often times the girl celebrating her birthday presents a doll to her younger sister as a way of surrendering her young adulthood. The birthday girl then puts on heeled shoes signifying her passage into womanhood. The dancing part of the Quince includes a practiced waltz dance and that is one of the main events of the night. There are always lots of toasts; sometimes the cutting of a cake and other extravagant gestures to show the girl is now a woman.

Originally the Quinceañera was a way to signify that a girl was ready and prepared for marriage. Modern parties tend to announce the girl is ready for formal dating. This is a long-held ceremonial tradition that originated in the Spanish culture. Some people think this tradition was born out of the Aztec or Mayan cultures and others believe it was Roman Catholicism, indigenous people, and the colonization of Spain that birthed the Quinceañera.

No matter where the tradition was originally from it allows girls to honor their womanhood. Fifteen-year-olds may not be running off to get married but they have a right to be honored and adored for one day. If you are looking to plan a Quinceañera, MGM Ballroom has everything you need to make it a night to remember.

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