Is it Okay to have a Quince if I’m not Latina?

Brooke Torres

While a quinceañera is mainly attributed to the Hispanic culture, it does not mean that it is exclusively for Latinas. A quinceañera is a coming of age celebration, therefore, if you want to celebrate your coming of age birthday in an elaborate and traditional way then a quinceañera is for you!

It’s always good to know more about your culture or a tradition in a culture that you want to practice. Therefore, we are going over the history, traditions, and meaning of a quinceañera.

History of a quinceañera

In the early Spanish societies and Mesoamerica, quinceañeras were a tradition that signified a girl’s transition from childhood to adulthood. It was a huge celebration that presented her to the public as being a young woman who is ready for marriage. On this day, she is now free to wear makeup, dance in public, and make decisions. She was also given her first piece of real jewelry (this could include a tiara). 

Now the tradition has changed to be more focused on the coming of age aspect rather than the suitable for the marriage part. Even the way it is celebrated has changed in recent years. What was once a religious celebration, expanded into requests for a bigger party, a cruise, a vacation, or even a new car? 

However it is celebrated, it’s a celebration of you, which means you decide how traditional or non-traditional you want it.

Traditions

In the original celebration of a quinceañera, the event would start with a Catholic mass where the birthday girl commits herself to God and the Virgin Mary. Her parents, godparents, court of honor (damas y chambelanes), and any other family or friends would all be present.

After the mass is the reception, the festivities begin with traditional dances, such as the father-daughter dance. Another dance would be to traditional music and include the birthday girl and her court of honor. In modern times, this dance includes music that the birthday girl has chosen and paired with a modern dance performance. The rest of the night is full of good food, better music, and the company of all your loved ones. 

Meaning

A quinceañera is a milestone event that symbolizes the transition from childhood to womanhood. A girl’s 15th birthday is a day that welcomes her into adulthood and can be done in one of the most elaborate of celebrations. It should be a celebration of celebrations. Just like a birth date is not for solely one person, neither is a quinceañera celebration. So if you’ve always wanted a quince celebration but have felt unsure if you could, the answer is yes. Celebrate yourself, everyone comes of age and might as well make it as big of a celebration as possible. So have the quince and enjoy the wonderful tradition and celebration that is all about you.

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Brooke Torres

Author Brooke Torres

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