The Argentinian Quincenera

By: Tal E., Meghan M., Chidera W., Sara J.

Background Information

The Argentinian quincenera is called, la fiesta de quince anos. This celebration is to celebrate a girl turning into a woman on her fifteenth birthday, it is the turning point of a young girl's life. Quinceneras are a big deal in the Latin American culture, but they slightly vary between regions of Latin American culture.

Decorations, Reception Accessories, Music, and Food

  • Decorations- The decorations depend on what the family and girl wants. The family gets ideas rom magazines, and past quinceañeras.

  • Reception Accessories- The reception is normally indoors, relatives normally give the father flowers (normally roses).

  • Music- There is waltzing, and the girl dances with her friends and relatives. There are three different dancing periods. Before the entree, after the entree and before dessert, and then after dessert.

  • Food-After the dancing, the different dishes are served. Dessert is also served.

Invitations, Party Favors, and Gifts

  • Invitations- the invitations are very fancy like wedding invitations. They are unique and fun in their own way. As for the wording of the invitations unusually people have creative and fun phrases or quotes which gives the invitations an elegant and sofisticated look.

  • Party Favors- The party favors usually cover the color and theme of the quinceñera. The party favors are usually little nick nacks like a candle holder or picture frame. Some party favors include candy like a jar full of candy or a candy bar. The can also include little snacks like cookies or cupcakes.

  • Gift for member of court- The gift gifts for the court are a little more personal. The gifts might include personalized key chains or accessories. They may also include a personalized picture collage or picture frame

Fashion, Accessories, and Tradition

  • Fashion: The fashion at an Argentinian quinceñera is very formal and elegant. The men wear a tux or a suit and the women wear beautiful gowns. The birthday girl wears a gorgeous princess-like dress that has their particular family's customs incorporated into it.

  • Accessories: The accessories at an Argentinian quinceñera are quinceñera dolls, elegant elbow gloves, colorful corsages, flowergirl baskets, rosaries, scepters, tiaras, and other elegant accessories. There are also accessories like guest books, bibles, and flower bouquets to make the celebration very authentic and beautiful.

  • Tradition: The tradition of an Argentinian quinceñera is based on the idea of a girl transforming into a woman. This means that the newly transformed woman will be able to do more adult things. The history of this concept is that once a lady turned fifteen in Argentina, they would get married, therefore now the tradition has been modernized over the years and is now known as, "the turning point" in a girls' life. This tradition is shown throught the Ceremony of the Fifteen Candles, which is a ceremony in which the birthday girl lights fifteen candles and gives them to the people that she believes have been the most influential in her growth. The fifteen candles symbolize the fifteen years the she has "left behind" and each of the candles represent a memory shared with anyone who was invited. This ceremony usually includes a speech made by the birthday girl.

Religious Aspect

The tradition of presenting women at an age they are considered an adult reached across the continent, with not only being celebrated in Hispanic populated countries but across the continents. The ceremony evolved in Post-Colombian America, where the conquistadors’ tactic to impose Catholicism on native customs transformed what was a simple ceremony into a religious occasion, traditionally starting with mass in a church.In Mexico and other Latin American countries, the ceremony is performed with greater religious overtones. Here, in Argentina, it is not nearly as connected; they ocassionally start at the church, and it is more about the party than the religious aspects. To prepare for the Quinceanera, the celebrant and her family usually attend manners classes that guides and teaches the riles of being an adult.During the mass, the Quinceanera woman is accompanied by her parents and godparents to the place of honor near the altar. There is also the possibility of her being accompanied by her escort.The Quinceanera mass is a thanksgiving for her first 14 years of life during which Quinceanera gifts are presented and blessed. These religiously significant gifts are blessed and presented by the parents and Godparents of the Quinceanera celebrant. During offertory, a medal of her patron saint is presented to the Quinceanera celebrant. This represents the celebrant’s role in the Church, and the protection and guidance of that patron saint. A young lady is also given as a representation of her adult responsibilities as she celebrates her Quinceanera.

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