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Exploring Latin America
Transcript of Exploring Latin America
A Latin American Tradition
After missionaries entered South America, a large Christian influence became apart of the long standing traditions.
What in the World?
Quinceañera is translated from Spanish as a girl who is 15 years old.
The celebration is called
Fiesta de Quince Años
or mostly, simply,
This event is celebrated throughout countries in Latin America, including Mexico, as well as in the United States.
The tradition was started in 500 B.C. with the Aztecs.
At the age of 15, young girls were prepared for marriage in the Aztec society.
It is a tradition rooted in a rich history.
Even though many aspects have changed, the symbolism of a girl becoming a woman, has stayed the same.
The transition from childhood to womanhood is a significant passage for hispanic, adolescent girls.
Additionally, it's origins date back to many centuries ago when both boys and girls participated in rites of passages. The elder woman of the community would teach the girls of their roles as woman of the family and community.
Latin America is home to nearly half of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics.
The quinceañera participates in a
Misa de acción de gracias
or mass to give thanks for a completed childhood.
During the mass she is accompnied by her parents, god parents, and court of honor made up of damas (maids of honor) and chambelanes (escorts).
During the religious ceremony, the young girl will offer up a bouquet of flowers to
Virgen de Guadalupe
After the mass, the party begins. This is a lavish affair that can cost anywhere from $3,000-$25,000!
One Mother who paid for a Quince that cost about $13,000 explained,
"What I would say to people who think we're crazy? Like I've always said from the beginning: regardless whether it was going to be a backyard party, or a party like this. It's just tradition. You have to have a quinceañera."
There is the dress, the cake, the shoes, the decorations, the formal dinner, the venue, the DJ, the limo, and the photographer. This event is comparable to a wedding.
The party is typically planned 6-18 months in advance.
Typically there is a choreographed dance with the quinceañera and her damas and chambelanes.
Additionally, the young woman will dance a waltz with her father symbolizing her transition to woman hood. During the dance he offers her words of encouragement and it is typically the most emotional part of the day. Afterward, he gives her over to her main escort, or chamberlain to continue the dance.
Another tradition is the changing of the shoes. The girl's father will change the quinceañera's flat soled shoes with heels to again represent the transition to womanhood.
Argentina (also Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay)
Tradition of 15 Candles: The birthday girl will pass out a candle to 15 people that were most influential in her 15 years. Each candle represents a special memory or moment.
People in the Dominican Republic have the traditional cake of fifteen years, which usually becomes a cake of immense size and beauty, as they use very colorful designs to decorate it
Padrinos and Padrinas will give the quinceañera a tiara, to remind family members that she will always be a princess.
"Last Doll Ceremony" - Father will present the woman with a doll that resembles the quinceañera herself, called ultima muñeca. She then will pass it on to a younger family member to symbolize her adulthood.
The Quince business has boomed in the United States.
The United States