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The quinceañera celebration

quinceaneraIn many Latino and Hispanic cultures in Latin America and in the US, a teenage girl's transition from childhood to womanhood is marked by celebrating the quinceañera or fiesta de quince on her 15th birthday. This celebration marks a rite of passage in an adolescent girl's life.

An important part of a quinceañera celebration in certain cultures like Mexico and the Dominican Republic is a thanksgiving mass, during which the girl's parents and godparents accompany her. The girl may choose a court to accompany her during the celebration from amongst her close family and friends.

quinceThe party held to celebrate the girl's birthday is often a lavish affair, with beautiful dresses, cakes and decorations. The birthday girl's dress tends to be the main focal point of the celebration, and is often a stunning frilled ball gown in pastel colors with tulle and embroidery, worn with a tiara. The look is reminiscent of a bride or a princess to emphasis the girl's innocent qualities. In some cultures, girls are traditionally not permitted to wear make-up until they celebrate their fifteenth birthday.

All guests at a quinceañera party are expected to wear formal attire, and the girls should wear long dresses but they should never overshadow the birthday girl. Boys should wear suits and ties.

There are many different rituals and traditions around the quinceañera. One is the ritual of the shoe, where the teenager's father changes her flat, low-heel shoes to high heels, symbolizing the girl's passage into maturity.

See our gallery of stunning quinceañera dresses to find a gorgeous gown for the biggest day in a young girl's life.

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