Today's celebration envolved from both European society customs in the late 19th century and Aztec and Mayan traditions. Quinceañera are a huge significant rite of passage, it is also an enormous honor. Quinceañera is comprised of two words "Quince" (fifteen) and "añera" (year) and it refers to the girl's fifteen birthday. For girls, it was a time in their life when they were presented to the community as young ladies, instead of girls. Fifteen-year-old Aztec girls were considred women and were given considered women and were given instruction and responsibilites of womanhoood. When the Spaniards and the conquest of South America, the traditions and religions were blended and the traditional Quinceañera we know today was born. Later it became very trendy among upper class Latin Americans. In Mexico, landowners' daughters had celebrations, and their workers watched the beautiful parites from a distance. From 1940-1950, the celebration was no longer strictly an upper class affair. An opportunity for recognition and affirmation from the extended family and community was created. From 1970-2000, the upper class stopped celebrating Quinceañeras, while the lower/middle class adopted the custom with fervor. Mexican girls today look forward to celebrate with pride and happiness. Every birthday before and after may come and go without major celebration but throughout the history of Quinceañeras, this even has been full of ritual and tradition. The Quinceañera celebration is a time of affirming of faith, family tradition, good morals and preparedness to take on adult roles within the family.
The Quinceañera Mass is a "thankgiving celebration" for the gift of life and a moment to bless and pray for the girl who has reached the age of 15. It is a great opportunity to evangelize and to welcome back in the church those who have been away. Secondly, it serves to renew the Quinceañera's baptismal vows.
The court of honor first appears when they accompany the Quinceañera into the Church. Though they do not process in with her. They do have reserved seating. The original tradition was to have 14 boys — chambelans, escortes, or galanes and 14 girls — damas. The total of 15 couples is meant to symbolize each year of the celebrant’s life. The dresses of the court of honor should be similar to each other, and the boys are expected to wear tuxes or other formal dress clothes as well.
This number has been reduced in recent years to the Quinceañera's liking.
The first dance at the reception is normally for the Quinceañera and her father. He’ll pick a song of meaning for the two of them – maybe something they normally dance to at home or is always in the background, or something he has sung to her before. This represents the Quinceañera's first public dance and is a way for her father to present her to their guests. This also symbolizes that her father is the first man in her life.
To review prerequisites for a Quinceañera Mass or Communion Service download the form or you can pick one up in the Faith Formation Office.
Para revisar los requisitos para una Misa de Quinceañera o un Servicio de Comunión, descargue el formulario o puede recoger uno en la Oficina de Formación de Fe.