In Mexico, as well as in many other Latin American homes and communities, a quinceañera is a rite of passage for a young girl. This event usually happens on or around a girl’s fifteenth birthday. It is similar to a sweet sixteen party in the American culture. There are many customs and traditions that are involved in making this celebration unique and fun for everyone involved.
Set the Time and Place
First and foremost, the young girl must set a date for the party. This involves help from her parents and/or guardians. Planning the party should begin at least six months prior to this set date. She should also set the location. Many times, a quinceañera is held in a hall or banquet area; somewhere that would typically be used for a wedding reception. She will typically invite a lot of family and friends to help her celebrate this passage into womanhood, so she must have a venue big enough to contain everyone. Quinceañeras are typically Catholic ceremonies, so here is a ceremony in a church before the party. Consider both the church’s location and the fiesta’s location when picking venues.
In the Mexican culture, quinceañeras are similar to weddings in both venue and dress. The birthday girl will typically wear a long ball gown, similar to a wedding or prom dress. The birthday girl will also have up to fourteen couples escorting her into her reception. These couples will wear fancy dresses and suits. The girl will have a “chambelan de honor”, or her court of honor, who will wear a special suit for the occasion separate from the other males. The fourteen couples will have to learn at least three or four dances for the ceremony.
Six Major Parts
There are six major parts to this fiesta in Mexico.
- The formal entry: Once everyone is seated, the birthday girl is presented to her community as a woman.
- The formal toast: The parents and/or grandparents make a toast to welcome their little girl into adulthood.
- The first dance: The first dance consists of a father and daughter dance, followed by some choreography by the couples.
- The family dance: The family dance is when the immediate family, close relatives, and special friends all dance with the quinceañera.
- The preferred song: Traditionally, customary Latin songs will be played throughout the party, so the preferred song is a modern song that the quinceañera requests. However, today there may be more current songs played than traditional ones.
- The general dance: This is the last choreographed dance that is typically a traditional one, where any guest can join in.
A quinceañera is a great place to have traditional Latin food. Mexican quinceañeras usually have chimichangas, enchiladas, fajitas, and tacos served for the guests.
If you are looking for traditional Mexican food without having to go to a quinceañera , then Mexicali Fresh Mex Grill is the perfect place to go. We have traditional Mexican cuisine in a family dining setting. Visit our locations in Spencer, Holden and Ware, MA, or our recently opened Dayville, CT location and we will give you a taste of fresh and delicious Mexican food, worthy for a quinceañera . We look forward to seeing you!