Quinceañera or the feast of fifteen years is a traditional festival in Latin Hispanic world, especially in Mexico; it is commonly called Quinceañera or Quince Años. This festival is the celebration of the fifteenth anniversary, but the ceremony is different. It also gives the name of the quinceañera to the girl who celebrates this holiday.
To prepare a good research paper on quinceañera you should know that the festival represents the transition from a child to a woman of the girl celebrating her fifteenth birthday. It serves as a way of learning for the young girl to understand what is good and how to become a good wife. The ceremony, following a Catholic rite, begins with a Mass of thanksgiving (Misa de Acción de Gracia). The quinceañera arrives dressed in her party dress, often in shades of pink, accompanied by her parents, her grandparents, seven bridesmaids and as many suitors as she wants. After Mass, the younger sisters, cousins, and friends of the quinceañera go out first to head the party while the girl lays her bouquet on an altar erected in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Mass is followed by a party given in the yard of the girl’s house or in a reception room by the family of the girl celebrating. A number of dances should be danced by the young girl with her father or her boyfriend. In Colombia, for example, the quinceañera must dance a waltz with her father and five selected by him among the friends of the girl.
While this traditional celebration is still practiced today in Latin American and Hispanic communities in North America, variants that focus more on the desires of the girl to celebrate and less on the religious part is encountered. In a number of cities, the ceremony is a ball.
In all likelihood, the feast of 15 years was introduced in Mexico and the rest of Latin America (including the Caribbean), by the Spanish, although some argue that it was actually was French. Other versions say that this festival is inspired by an ancient Aztec tradition, which seems highly unlikely, since it would be difficult to explain why this festival is so popular in Argentina, and Puerto Rico, little affected countries by Mesoamerican traditions in general, and Aztecs in particular, but have instead been strongly marked by European influence. This festival is such a social phenomenon in the Latin American continent, even MTV Latin currently devoted a reality TV show. It is also interesting to note that in the U.S., there is also a similar festival called sweet sixteen, which was popularized by Jewish families and then taken by all the communities that make up the U.S. population.
In its traditional version, the feast of 15 years is a sort of debutante ball, organized for each quinceañera (girl 15 years), on the occasion of her fifteenth anniversary. Originally, the festival was organized in wealthy families, to present the girls of marriageable age in the society. It was then democratized, although more and more young girls choose another way to celebrate their 15 spring, it remains an institution in many families, regardless of their social origin. In Mexican families who emigrated to the United States, the tradition also remains alive. In Canada too, the tradition continues in the Spanish-American families who have emigrated. Moreover, on the rue Saint-Hubert in Montreal, many merchants announce dresses for the party of 15 years and more dresses proms and weddings.
Formerly, the young girl of fifteen was wearing a long white dress like a wedding dress, accompanied by a traditional bouquet of white roses. Today, the dress has changed somewhat, to move towards the shimmering dresses of princesses of fairy tales with their shiny tiara and bouquet matching the color of the dress, which can now afford all extravagances.
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