A Quinceañera is a girl’s coming-of-age ceremony deeply rooted in Mexican culture, where the girl renews her baptimal vows. A Quinceañera mass is not a Catholic sacrament, although it involves presenting the girl before God, and her promise to honor herself and her religion. A Quince is normally held around her 15th birthday. It is the Mexican version of the American “Sweet Sixteen” party. However, as opposed to the “sweet sixteen” party a Quinceanera tends to be a lot more traditional and more deep rooted into the Mexican culture. It basically represents the specific moment when the family introduces the teenage girl to the world. It somehow resembles a rite of passage, as the teenage girl is now introduced as a woman, a person who has grown up and evolved from the status of “teenager” to the status of “adult”.
Based on various old traditions (including Aztec ceremonies demonstrating readiness for marriage combined with Catholicism), the 15 year olds attend a Mass ceremony specially conducted for Quinceañeras. Initially, this elaborate ceremony was only held for girls from wealthier families but the trend of all Hispanic girls having a Quinceañera exploded in the US (and spread back to the areas of origin) to hold onto cultural identity.
Quinceañeras come in two parts: mass and the party. The Mass is often held with various girls celebrating their 15th year to save time, space, and number of services provided—much like baptisms. Girls are blessed by the priest and recommit themselves to their spiritual devotion (including placing a bouquet of flowers at the statue of the Virgin Mary). One symbol of entering adulthood is seen when the girl gives a porcelain doll (or other childhood toy) to a younger sister or other younger girl in her family. During the mass there is a chance of Mariachi groups playing music, though the main event where music is needed is the party! However, some churches discourage large parties so as not to draw attention to the real purpose of the Quinceañera, the entering into adulthood with the help and respect of the church.
As important and beautiful as the mass ceremony is, everyone gets excited for the pa
rty. Depending on income, these parties can be very large and lavish, but even on a budget they are fun and an amazing experience for the honoree—especially when the whole family and community help out (serving as madrinas and padrinos, like godparents). Not all families have had these parties in the past due to budget, but they are still held after most Quinceañera masses. Before the end of the party, the honoree’s father will remove the modest flats she went to mass and entered the party in and he will place high-heeled shoes on her feet to symbolize her entrance into womanhood.
What better way to embrace your heritage than to hire a skilled Mariachi group for your daughter’s Quinceañera? We can’t think of a better way. Our professional performers can play for both the mass and the party (and will discuss with the priests beforehand to ensure the proper music list). We are known for interacting with our guests instead of just acting as a human radio. Keep tradition alive and hire us for your next event—especially such a special night as a young girl’s transition into adulthood. She will never forget all of the fun she has dancing to the music of her ancestry.