Rituals: Quinceañeras

My informant S told me about when they had their quinceañera when they turned 15. S said that quinces are a very valued Mexican traditional celebration of becoming 15 and that it is a big transition from being a child to becoming an adult. They talked about picking out the dress, and how it is supposed to show your personality. They showed me a picture of their dress and they wore a gorgeous baby blue gown that reminded me of Cinderella. S also talked about the quinceañera’s court, the quinces’ closest friends, and how their friends all wore beautiful dresses that were colour-coordinated to their gown. S told me about the dance number that they did together and how much fun it was for them. S also talked about one of her favourite moments, the father-daughter dance and how emotional it was. They had picked a really special song that meant a lot to them, a Spanish song that their dad used to sing to them when they were younger and S said it was a very memorable moment for the both of them.

Of course, I have heard of the tradition of quinceañeras and know what they are about, but it is always so special to hear about it from someone who got to experience it in their life. I have several other friends who have also had quinces and I loved hearing everyone’s different experiences and memories of them. From what I have heard about quinces, I know that when you are Catholic, the quinceanera goes to church before the party for a ceremony of blessings that renews the quinceanera’s commitment to God. I have never had a quinceañera but I did have a champagne birthday, which is the day you turn the age of the day that you were born. In my case, I was born on the 18th, so the day I turned 18 was my champagne birthday and I had a champagne birthday party with my closest friends.