A Quinceañera, Quince, Quinceañero or Quince años (English: “fifteen years”), is a coming of age ceremony held in some Latin American cultures on a girl’s fifteenth birthday, comparable to a Sweet Sixteen celebration.
Planning begins up to a year in advance and requires the resources of several members of the family and friends. The family priest will perform a Quinceañera ceremony in a church. The girl’s baptismal godparents will oversee the spiritual celebration, and her many friends and relatives will attend to see the recognition she will receive as she makes the transition from girl to a young lady in everyone’s eyes.
Quinceañera is comparable in scope and grandeur to weddings, and the party atmosphere that follows the somewhat more subdued religious atmosphere. There is a significant dress, just as with a wedding, and can be just as expensive and unique as a wedding gown. Flowers and decorations are selected to match the color scheme of the festivities, a reception is held at which guests will be served a meal and there will be dancing for all in attendance.