Quinceanera -15- Church Mass




Quinceanera Party


M.A. in Hayward,CA USA


May 2002



A little over a year ago my younger cousin had her Sweet 16,she's Puerto Rican so her birthday was celebrated with the Hispanic tradition of the Quineanera.  She had 7 girls (including myself),7 guys, 14 people plus her Escort of honor which made 15 (representing the first 15 years of her life).My cousin represented her 16th year.

She went to the church for the Thanksgiving Mass. Since we live here in California the traditions of the quinceanera are somewhat different. 

Traditionally the father of the birthday girl changes the girls shoes and  dances the first dance with her which is a representation of him accepting the b-day girl becoming a women but my cousin had one of the dammas be the girl of honor and represent her womanhood and change her shoes from flats to hills which meant her transition from a child to an adult. My cousin also had the tradition of the doll. 

Now, usually the b-day girl gives the doll to a younger sister or girl cousin which means she leaving her childhood to her younger sibling.  My cousin on the other hand had the doll given to her. She said that particular way means that it was the last doll she would receive as child. 

I think these particular ways that my cousin had chosen are mainly celebrated in the Bay area here in Northern California because most quinceanera I've heard about the father of the b-day girl changes her shoes and she gives the doll to her younger sister or girl cousin. 

Now, back at the church I got to be one of the girls of honor(along with our other cousin who changed her shoes)and gave her 16 roses for 16 years of her life).

A couples of other Bay Area traditions she had was her mother giving her the a fancy bible with a satin and lace cover and her brother giving her a special bracelet and necklace, but then again I think those last 2 traditions might be part of any quinceanera in general.

Well it turned out to be a beautiful celebration.  I'm thinking about doing a similar thing like this for my 21st birthday since I didn't get a sweet 16 and besides 15 & 18, 21 is the only other important age in young person's life.  It's when you become fully legal instead of semi-legal when you turn 18. So I guess you can say I might have a sweet 21 or "Venteunanera".

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