“A quinceanera is party done for a girl who has turned 15 years. It’s not a regular party, it is a very big party where money is just thrown left and right and the parents of the quinceanera usually ask other family members to help with the cost of the big party. Before the party begins, the party girl and her parents and padrinos (godparents) have to go to church where a misa (mass) is given. It basically means that she needs to go to church to thank god for letting her turn 15. After the church, the quinceanera goes to the party where people are already eating and stuff. Before the quinceanera though, it takes months and months of preparation. I know that for my quinceanera, we literally began planning for it since a year before…when I turned 14. The first thing we had to take care of was the misa because according to my mom, that’s the most important thing, even though nobody of our relatives go to the misa. Anyway, after we went to get the date for the misa, we then started to look at venues. Then once we had our eyes on the venue, we began to look for a banda, because a good quinceanera must always have a banda or else there shouldn’t even been a quinceanera in the first place. The next thing is deciding who you will chose to be in your court. Those elected to be in your court are going to perform a big first dance because supposedly my mom, and your mom tambien (also), say that a girl can’t dance until they’re 15 or else they don’t get a party and blah blah blah. So once all that is set, you need to tell your padrinos of the date, they usually are the first ones that should know if when the event will take place because they will be in charge of helping organize. Your padrinos can’t be any random person, they have to be the people who baptized you so in that sense, your padrinos should already know that your party is coming anyway. Moving on, next your parents need to start telling family members to help with the cost of the venue, food, banda, drink, and other things. People usually have no problem helping because it’s seen as “I help you now, you help me later” type of thing. So once all that is planned out, the party then takes place. Oh I almost forgot, the party girl has to wear a big puffy dress, kinda like they used to wear back then, it sort of make you feel like a princess, oh and you also get to wear a tiara so that’s a plus. And that is what a quinceanera party is.”
The informant is an American born Mexican. Her parents and family all were born and raised in Mexico but she was born in the U.S. This essentially makes her a Chicana of 20 years. She grew up with the U.S customs yet still had really strong ties to her Mexican heritage because of her relatives and parents therefore, she fuses her American surroundings with her Mexican heritage. This can explain why she still practices some of the customs that are very Mexican originated.
In my analysis of this, I found that a lot of Mexican quinceaneras are very similar to that of which my informant described. However, I also found that quinceaneras are not only celebrated among Mexicans; Quinceaneras are also celebrated among other Hispanic nations such as El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica and etc. A reason for why Quinceaneras aren’t only celebrated for the Mexicans can be attributed maybe to the copying of certain traditions from these nations however, perhaps, Mexican may also may be the ones copying the quinceanera idea from other nations. Regardless, the point is that just because one tradition may be thought to be solely for a particular culture, traditions can make their way around the world and in their way gaining different aspects to the tradition which then makes it each country’s own new tradition.