Adulthood
Festival
Life cycle
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Quicenera

Main Content:  A quincenera is when a girl turns 15 and they do a big party to celebrate that she is no longer alittle girl but instead a woman. Parents usually start to save money from the day theirdaughters are born because it is very expensive to throw a quincenera. For a quincenera girlsusually wear puffy dresses and have damas (female court) and chambelanes (male court) who are wearing the same color as her dress. First they have to go to church and have a mass. Then they go take pictures and then the party starts. In the middle of the party the girl’s dad takes off the girl’s flat shoes and puts on some heels. Then they give the girl a doll which is the last doll she is going to get meaning that she is no longer a little girl. After the dad and girl dance together. This is one of the most sentimental parts of the quincenera because the next time they would dance together would be at her wedding. After this, there is a surprise dance.  Context: This piece is an interview that I directly copied every word said. The participants name is Jonathan. I had asked the participate in advance over phone if he had any folklore and he asked what I meant by that. After giving a few examples he said he actually did have something to share. So we met in his apartment a few hour later. We entered the kitchen and sat down at the table. Background: Jonathan is a 19-year-old college student whose ethnicity is half Cuban and Half Mexican. He is a sophomore attending UCLA.  Analysis: A quincenera is a common example of Hispanic life cycle folklore. It is more common for woman, but it can also be for a male. A quincenera is transition from a child to an adult. In the quincenera there is a motif, the high heel. It represents a woman and therefore the father removes the flat shoe and puts on the heel. I find it fascinating that there is no scientific evidence stating that when a female turns 15, she become an adult. This transition from childhood to adult hood does have different variations across different cultures. For example, other cultures have a sweet 16. The basis is the same but instead of transitioning to adulthood at 15, it is at 16. 

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