My friend’s sister Laura was about to celebrate her fifteenth birthday. At first, I didn’t understand why they were making such a big deal out of it, but after attending the “Quince años”, which means 15th birthday, I understood why this tradition is very important.

Most girls can’t wait to be 15 so they can celebrate with a Catholic mass and a big party. The “Quinceañera” (girl that is celebrating her 15th), is treated like a princess for that special day when she is going to be presented to society, to let them know she is not a little girl anymore; she is a woman now.

Quinciañera tiara

Laura started her preparations a year before the event! She picked her dress, the church where the service was going to be celebrated and the place where the party was going to be held. The invitations went out about a month before the celebration.

Following tradition on the special day, Laura got picked up in a limousine, and she and her parents were transported to a special church service in her honor. She was wearing   a beautiful dress, earrings, a ring, and religious articles. Each of these items has a special traditional and symbolic meaning.

Quinceañera girl

After church, we all went to the reception. There was live music and also a DJ that played while the band was taking a break, Laura danced the first dance with her dad, the second with her “Chambelán” (her official escort; basically, just a very good friend to dance with), then on the third song all of her “14 damas” (14 maids of honor) also danced with their “chambelanes” (official dance partners). The “damas” all wear matching dresses and the “chambelanes” wear black tuxedoes.

Everyone enjoyed the fiesta; it was great! I danced A LOT!!!!!