Feliz Quinceañera!

Photos by Patricia Canavan
March 13, 2014

Feliz Quinceañera!For a young girl in Latino society, her 15th birthday is a rite of passage into young womanhood. The formal Quinceañera ceremony, with all the traditions and colorful gowns, was replicated by students from Sandra Del Cueto's Spanish II classes on March 13.

Anna Friedman played the role of the young girl; other students play her friends, siblings, mother and father. The event began with a processional, in which the Quinceañera girl's friends and family enter in a specific order, some carrying symbolic items:  a decorative number 15, a doll which symbolizes the transformation from a girl into a young woman, high heels, and a tiara.

Finally, the Quinceañera girl, wearing a formal dress, enters with her escort. She sits in a special chair with her family and friends gathered around her. Her mother removes the girl's crown of flowers, symbolizing youth, and replaces it with a tiara, representing eternal life. Her father takes off her shoes and replaces them with the high heels, symbolizing his daughter's transformation from a girl to a woman. He then presents his daughter to the audience, escorting her around the room before the two have their first dance together, a waltz. Feliz Quinceañera!

Come watch the next Quinceañera celebration on Saturday, April 12, at 3 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

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