It was her Sweet Sixteen Party. I read somewhere that families nowadays here in the US combines the traditional Mexican quinceanera with the 16th birthday as a daughter’s coming out celebration.
This is my first to attend one and am glad to have experienced it. I didn’t realize how filled with significance and symbolism this celebration is.
It all started with a mass in her honor in a church nearby attended by her families, godparents and friends. It was like a mini-wedding except there was only one person. The celebrant wore her ball gown and the church was decorated with flowers, white carpet and an arch. During the ceremony she was also given a bible, a rosary, candle, a cross and a tiara. The priest emphasized on her the importance of her faith and prayers.
From there we drove to the reception. The hall and tables were likewise decorated beautifully. Some Hispanic ladies who sat with us explained to us the significance of quinceanara – that it is the end of a girl’s childhood and is now entering into adulthood. We were told that some families give more significance to this event than a girl’s wedding sometimes and would have a lavish and extravagant celebration.
Like in a wedding Celine had a female court or damas made up of her closest friends. They too wore gowns that reflected the color theme of the celebrant – red and black. Celine was radiant and beautiful, same with her court.
The guests also received tokens/mementos from her. She also gifted her friends. After a speech from her parents and closest girl friend, the girls presented a choreographed number. There was also a father-daughter dance. Well I must say, the father did this part extremely well and could dance just as well as the younger daughter.
Later, the daughter returned to her mom her First Doll and was given the Last Doll which is kept as a memento of her past 15 years and signifying her changing role. The father is supposed to present her new shoes to replace her flat shoes but this time her mom did the honor. She is now a young lady ready to face the world.
Religion, food, dancing and lots of cheers and tears – I love them. I wish we keep these beautiful traditions – they are important reminders of our culture, of where we came from and who we are wherever we are.
Celine is very well loved and I could imagine her having a bright future.
365 Project: Day 275