Quince Años Around The World

Quinceañera is a rite of passage that marks the symbolic passage of girl to woman when it reaches 15 years of age.

Quinceañera is a rite of passage that marks the symbolic passage of girl to woman when it reaches 15 years of age. The word originates from the French débutante, debut ("beginning").

The Quinceanera, or just fifteen birthday (although also called Margarita), is a party in which a girl is presented to society, a debut. The party may have Catholic religious orientation in countries such as Mexico. It is common to this holiday in Latin America, with the exception of countries such as Chile, where this celebration never had or has had relevance, on the contrary, only was held by a small number of families in social sectors high or accommodated until 1970 and 1980 but currently there is no cause for celebration in Chilean society. The quinceañera word refers to the own child who turns 15 years of life.

The celebration marks the transition of girl woman of the quinceañera. It serves as a way of recognizing that the girl in question has reached maturity. The celebration however varies greatly according to the different countries. However, fifteen years does not mean that the girl in question is already of age because it can vary according to the laws of each country.

El Salvador, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Mexico, Uruguay, Honduras, Guatemala, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic

In Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Honduras, Brazil, Guatemala and Uruguay the feast begins with the arrival of the quinceañera, who wears a dress made specially for the occasion, usually steamy and style of princesses, usually accompanied by the arm of his father, with a special door entry main, accompanied by music, with applause from the guests. Then begins the ceremony of the waltz, in which the girl dances first with his father and then with relatives and friends.

Normally the ball is divided into sections, between which are the meals. The most frequent organization tends to be:

  1. Reception of the guests (almost always are the parents and siblings who receive guests);
  2. Quinceañera entrance;
  3. Saves backs (in Uruguay does not);
  4. Waltz with the father, family and friends;
  5. First batch of dance;
  6. Playback of the video depicting the lives of the quinceañera.
  7. Dinner;
  8. Second round of dancing, with music;
  9. Toast, cut cake or cake and dessert;
  10. The party favors;
  11. 15 candles ceremony;
  12. Last set of dances, delivery of souvenirs.


The music that it is customary to use is the most current, chosen by the quinceañera. A DJ is hired and is given a list of music to pass. In Uruguay and Argentina, it is usual to hear the song 15 primaveras Vicente Fernández, which is usually to pass when it comes to splitting cake.

It is also customary to give souvenirs to all guests at the end of the celebration.

A recent use is the table of treats, caramel apples, alfajores, marshmallows, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, pancakes with sweet milk, etc.

The ceremony of the fifteen candles

This ceremony is the delivery, by the birthday girl, fifteen candles people deemed most important in the development of those fifteen years, and usually accompanied by a speech, usually dedicated to each of the persons which are given this award.

This special ceremony is also known as the tree of life ceremony. 15 candles symbolize his 15 years, 15 years that have been left behind. Each an of the candles symbolizes a remember special, a moment shared with some of the people that is invited to participate of the ritual. At the candlelight ceremony, as in all ritual, certain steps must be followed.


In Brazil the same celebration called Festa of debutante or Festa of fifteen years.

Debutante is the word used to designate the teenager who complete their 15 years of age. The word comes from the French débutante, that means beginner or newcomer.

The Cotillion is a rite of passage to which the young are subjected, generally being carried out when the same complete fifteen years. Completing the fifteenth birthday of a woman, asked if a beautiful celebration, where she would be officially presented to society, starting a new phase of his life.

From your "debut", the young woman spent attending social gatherings, wearing clothes more adults and had allowed to date. Normally, at the reception of the guests, the girl was wearing a nice dress and simple, full of details, and after midnight was wearing a beautiful evening gown to dance the waltz with her father; all to represent that she wouldn't be a girl to become a woman.


In general, in Argentina, the celebration begins arriving guests (around 10 pm), who are greeted by waiters and guided to its appropriate place. After a few moments arrive quincianera, especially arranged and made up, and in a confesionado dress for the occasion; the colors for this are varied. The birthday girl greets everyone, and then goes to its place (called the "main table", because it is where she sits with her friends / I), and the dinner takes place. After dinner, guests are transported to a place in particular, to remove group or individually, or by family, a photo with the quincianera, obviously, by the same photographer who did the book's pictures. Lately the symbolic videos that gather their last fifteen years of life are, and ultimately, takes place the waltz, usually started by the father and ended in the most nearby friends or a family member. Waltz is passed directly to the feast, where moves to listen all kind of music and you can enter any person invited to the dance, i.e., who was not at the dinner. In the middle of the night, are opening the dessert table or candy bar, where there are all kinds of delicacies, and launching the Cotillion, where there are hats fabric, foam, lenses, etc.

Quincianera, in the months prior to the date of his birthday, makes a book of photos by hiring a professional. Occasionally, also made a book with their friends (that are that, usually, also are in the table main), or with your family. The subject, place or various photos clothing according to the birthday girl.

The celebration is carried out in lounges, discos, own homes, hotels, restaurants, etc. The family of the birthday girl knows to invest a lot of money in the event.


In Cuba the party may include a choreographed dance of group, in which 14 couples dance the waltz around the quinceañera, which is driven by one of the main dancers and a guy of your choice. The choreography includes sometimes four or six skilled dancers called Oslo or companions, which are allowed to dance around the quinceañera. They are usually inexperienced dancers whose function is to highlight the central couple. You are also allowed to wear tuxedos in different colors.

The fifteenth birthday celebrations are very popular in Cuba. This custom came in part through Spain, but his greatest influence was French. The families rich, that is could allow rent dining expensive in clubs private u hotels of 4 and 5 star, were the authentic precursor of them quinceaneras, to which called Quinces. These celebrations usually passed in the House of the girl or the more spacious House of a relative.


In Mexico, for this occasion, the quinceañera is made-up and combed specially for the event, leaving the makeup and hairstyle conventional, and wearing a dress with the colors that the quinceañera chose.

In the Mexican tradition, if the quinceañera is Catholic, the Festival begins with a mass of thanks, which is also venerated the Virgin, for the reason that at that age it was announced would have Jesus. The quinceañera attends mass with a formal dress (usually flashy and creative, alluding to a kind of Princess) the color she chose previously (usually pastel tones or intense or simply white), where a medal is awarded for a godfather or godmother yours, being previously blessed, accompanied by their parents, godparents (in some occasions of baptism) and chambelanes. After the relatives and friends of the quinceañera give gifts of the holiday, and the quinceañera leaves its field on an altar to the Virgin Mary. After the mass the quinceañera walks in a limousine with the companions is followed by a party at home of the quinceañera or banquet dining, casino, gig or party room, reserved for the occasion. In the celebration of the quinceañera dances usually some waltzes with her chamberlains.

Other rituals are performed as the last toy, based on the maya tradition that this possession would be the last object in the child use that you would use, since then her marriage would be next; and also of the shoe, in which the father of the quinceañera changes its floor shoe by one high heel, which also symbolizes the passage to adulthood.

Starts after dinner (or before all the dances) and the party arrives at the time they hired music or joint groups start their routine, giving life and spirit to the party.

Dominican Republic

In Dominican Republic this celebration is very traditional and common. It starts with a mass in the Catholic Church to receive the blessing of God and give thanks for another year of life. At the party the quinceanera makes its entry to the place of the Party (usually a hacienda, a party room, a nightclub, hotel or House of the quinceañera) accompanied by 14 additional couples, which, coupled with the of own quinceañera, form 15 couples. Usually the quinceañera wears a floaty suit in shades of pastries (representing innocence and elegance) and other couples dress up long suits (ladies), and suit and tie (young), which come to be showy, but without dulling the costume of the quinceañera, who is the protagonist of this celebration. Almost immediately the quinceañera dances the waltz with their couple companion, who usually halfway through the waltz spends at the hands of his father to finish it rather dancing Waltz.

It is customary that the quinceañera and couples escorts made several choreographies, which may include rhythms like merengue, pop, salsa, etc.

It is customary to serve a buffet and several drinks during the same celebration, as well as the delivery of souvenirs or memories to the guests, in addition to the traditional album of signatures, in which guests upon entering this celebration sign to leave a record of their presence at the party.

One of the main attractions in Dominican Republic is the traditional cake of fifteen years, which usually becomes a cake of immense size and beauty, since they reach using very colorful designs for the decoration of the same, and which is cut shortly after consuming the meal that was served to the guests for the quinceañera.

Tradition is the participation of an artist or band in celebration of the holiday to liven it up and give the musical touch.

Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, and Venezuela

The celebration of fifteen years in Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela began with the arrival of the guests. Subsequently, when the guests arrive, the quinceañera sale walking down the stairs with guards side of guards with their noble swords above, accompanied by the arms of her father, who is received by the mother and other relatives and friends. Then, father and daughter dance the Waltz. Should be noted that in Venezuela the quinceanera makes his entrance, is the change of shoes, she normally wears sports shoes and his father changed it by a pair of sandals or high heels, symbolizing that moves from girl to woman, then she dances the waltz with her father and then with other relatives, so (these all men).

For this occasion the quinceañera wears a dress at night in clear tones or pastels, is dressed and made up slightly, and usually is placed a tiara in hair and jewelry on his neck and hands. All the guests wear formal suits, including the friends of the quinceañera, which are of the same age.

After the initial ball, fifteen roses are given to family and friends she chose, go off fifteen candles with roses, is made a toast, and the father or the mother gives a speech. Thereafter begins to open the dancefloor, with choreography mounted by the quinceanera and her partner, and after that, begins the party sets live, DJ, food, drink, music and at one point takes place the crazy hours, until late in the evening. It is optional to make some surprise dance performed by the quinceañera (alone or accompanied), as well as also a dance that give you your friends, cousins, etc.