While the Quinceañera is part of Latin American culture. It’s a coming of age ceremony held on a girl’s fifteenth birthday that is celebrated in most Latino communities worldwide.
A Quinceañera is a coming of age celebration for Hispanic girls and is celebrated at age 15. It’s kind of like the American “sweet sixteen” party.
Part of it involves a dance between the young lady and her daddy.The celebration often reflects the family’s economic and social status, and has become a way for Hispanics in the U.S. to maintain their heritage even as they become more American.
Amongst Hispanic Catholics, the Quinceañera carries a religious meaning. The young lady affirms her faith, the gifts given to her are religious in nature, and the celebration often includes a blessing from her priest.
Following the religious celebration is a large reception that often resembles a wedding. In fact, it’s common for the young woman’s dress to resemble a wedding gown. She wears flats and carries a doll that has been made to resemble her. The doll represents her last doll of childhood. Her first dance is with the Chambelan, a young man who has been chosen to be her escort for the evening. After she dances with her father, then the father exchanges her flats for heels and takes away the doll, symbolizing that she has relinquished her childhood and has become a woman. She then gives her hair piece to the next Quinceañera to be, and her godparents crown her.
Amongst Hispanic Catholics, it is generally the duty of the godparents to make all of the arrangements and pay for the party and everything. This is representative of their responsibility in overseeing the religious upbringing of their goddaughter. Among non-Catholic Hispanics, this is all generally handled by her family.