Quinceaneras: An Incredible Event


Olivia' Marie

Katherine Marroquin's Quinceanera dress, in the library on display

Lourdes Peregina

Quinceaneras are a rite of passage for girls of the Hispanic culture. It is believed to shape girls into women and put them out into the world. The event gets them ready for the life they have been preparing for. 

At BDHS, a handful of girls have had the opportunity to celebrate their 15th birthday in a traditional way.

Senior, Sharon Montano, had her Quinceanera at 16 years old. She stated, that to her, having a Quinceanera meant, “ representing my culture and bringing the whole family together to celebrate me becoming a woman.”

Montano believes that, “ it’s really special because there’s not many cultures that have extravagant parties at this age.”

Junior, Jennifer Palate, commented, “quinceaneras are important to Hispanic culture.”

Many believe a quinceanera is a normal birthday party with a fancy name, this is proven to be wrong. For thousands of years, quinces celebrated girls getting ready for marriage. Nowadays, it is mainly about preparing for the outside world and not being treated like a child anymore. 

 Many assume that all Quinceaneras are celebrated the same. However that is not the case. While it is true that they are similar, celebrations and traditions vary depending on the families’ culture and their religious beliefs. 

A popular tradition done by quinceaneras is a dance called the “surprise dance. ” The young women mix many types of latin dances together and perform it in front of their families. Some of the dances include, Bachata, Meureunge, Cumbia, Punta, and Wepa.

The Quinceanera is typically accompanied by a group of 15 of her closest friends and family members. This is referred to as the “court.”

Many who practice Christianity, don’t do surprise dances. They also don’t play any music besides Christian music.

Montano explained, “ I would’ve loved to have a surprise dance. I didn’t get to have one cause it was hard to have my friends over to plan it out. “

Sophomore, Katherine Marroquin, stated that if she could have changed anything from her quince, it would have been the fall she had taken from one of the dances.

Palate revealed that the main thing she would’ve change is her chambelan. “It was my ex-boyfriend and I have 400 pictures with him, that’s what I would change forever.”  A chambelan is an escort, and also the person the Quinceanera usually dances with.

 Slideshows and father-daughter dances are more examples of common quinceanera traditions.  “There was a moment where we showed videos of me growing up, and it was really nice to have everyone laughing along. There’s also a dance with my dad and that was really special to me, he worked really hard for me to have the party,” says Montano.

 It has become common today to dismiss the hard work these girls parents go through to have this special day. A regular Quinceanera dress costs around 7-800 dollars. Venues are around 6,000 dollars. And lastly the crown is around 170 dollars. Then there is the added cost of food, decor, shoes, and dress changes.

 Many underestimate the cost of the celebrations. For many families, it is difficult to round up enough money.

 Montano shares her advice to young Latina girls. She says, “plan ahead. It can get really stressful but try not to get stressed out.just relax because you’ll have fun and that’s what matters”

 Quinceaneras are a once in a lifetime, very elegant, and overall charming event.