What is a Quinceanera? — History of the Quinceanera Celebration

In many Spanish families, a girl’s fifteenth birthday is cause for a tremendous celebration – a Quinceanera party! This coming-of-age tradition is actually rooted in ancient Aztec tradition, making it extremely popular among Mexican, Latin American and South American cultures.

The word ‘ Quinceanera’ quite literally means “fifteen years.” It’s the beginning of a girl’s journey into womanhood. This means that a Quinceanera is cause for much celebration!

According to Aztec tradition, a girl’s fifteenth birthday marked the start of a transition into maturity and womanhood. As such, girls who were a part of the commoner’s class were taken from home by the female village elders. They would then teach the girls about everything they would need to know about living as Aztec women. For the Aztec elite, a girl’s fifteenth birthday marked her transition into the temple where she would learn to fulfill the role of a priestess.

While the Aztec society is now extinct, this tradition remains in many cultures which celebrate a girl’s Quinceanera. In the U.S., it’s a gala event that involves Quinceanera hall rentals, decorations, catering, music and fancy attire!
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