The Quinceanera celebration is so much more than an elaborate birthday party for the young Hispanic girl. This celebration marks her official entry into the world of womanhood. This symbolic ceremony creates memories that last a lifetime for the Quinceanera, her family, and her court.

What Happens During a Quinceanera?

The Quinceanera most often begins months or sometimes even years before the celebration date. The birthday girl’s Godparents play a large role in the planning and preparation for the event, and the date marks the culmination of their responsibilities in the religious upbringing of their Goddaughter.

Many Quinceaneras officially begin with a special Mass performed for the guest of honor. Religious themes and symbolism are sprinkled throughout the Quinceanera in traditional celebrations.

The Dress and Trimmings

The Quince gown is very elaborate, often resembling a wedding dress or a formal ball gown. Many Quinceaneras select a white gown, but pink is also a popular color. However, some girls may choose to wear a gown of their favorite color, no matter the hue.

Some girls chose to change their dress after the coronation, to symbolize their coming of age with a more mature style of dress for the second half of the ceremony.

The birthday girl wears a tiara that symbolizes her status as a princess before God and carries a scepter which symbolizes her new-found authority as a woman and the transference of responsibility for her life from her parents to herself.

One of the highlights of the ceremony occurs when the Quinceanera changes her shoes from the low-heeled shoes of her childhood to the high heels of a woman. Some Quinceaneras opt to wear flat dress shoes, sandals, or even tennis shoes for the first part of the celebration.

The Gifts

During the Quinceanera, the young woman may receive a Bible, prayer book, rosary, medal, cross, or gifts of jewelry. She may also receive sentimental gifts from those close to her.

One Quinceanera tradition is for the young woman to receive her last doll, as she passes into womanhood. This doll serves as a keepsake of her childhood and is a cherished possession. Making memories is one of the biggest goals of the celebration.

You can order a personalized Quinceanera certificate to present to the special woman at the ceremony. This certificate can be placed in a frame and decorated with dried flowers from the ceremony, or placed in the young woman’s scrapbook to commemorate the event.

The Dance

During the Quinceanera celebration, the birthday girl performs a traditional waltz, or Vals with her father, a special male relative, or her date for the evening (known as a Chambelan). The family’s priest often bestows a special blessing at the beginning of the dance, and the Quinceanera is the center of attention as she performs her first dance as a woman.

If you are planning a Quinceanera, developing a planning guide can help you keep on-track and organized. You can order a pre-made planning guide or a Quinceanera planning guide, or create your own with a little research. You can read up on the latest Quinceanera news here, or get a few Quinceanera tips and free planning tools here.

A Quinceanera happens but once in a lifetime for every Hispanic girl. This grand day deserves special attention and planning to make her moment in the spotlight one of the best days of her life. Quinceanera is a noble and memorable celebration of life.