Gladys Balbuena-Galena ’24, Staff Writer

Quinceañera is a Hispanic tradition where a young girl is coming of age. Also known as her fifteenth birthday. It traditionally originated in Mexico, in the early 5th century, when the Aztecs and Mayans held initiation ceremonies for girls to mark the end of puberty and the start of adulthood.

An important milestone in a young girl’s life. She dreams of it, her family prepares for it, and the whole town awaits for it. On January 8, 2022, Evangeline Trinidad Vasquez, finally had her big day. Her gown is a dark red like a rose on the first day of spring, filled with the sun’s rays of gold. Her six chamberlaines¹ dressed as astonishing mariachi men. Like every quince, her morning started off heading to church for her ceremony. 

The ceremony included an exclusive right, written only for the Quinceanera. After, the Quinceanera and her court, plus her main God-parents, are all taken in a big limousine, with her photographer and videographer, to take pictures at an extravagant area. After, The main event begins. Her venue filled with her gowns colors, red and gold, with her centerpiece a beautiful vase full of roses. It was like no other, everyone was just waiting to get inside, ready to see the quinceanera, beautiful as ever. As everyone sits down and eats, the mariachi comes in, another tradition to honor the quinceanera on her big day. They come and sing at her main table dedicating all the divine songs to her. It was her day, it was all about her. 

In the reception, all quinceaneras have dances to formulate her rite of passage. Not only this, but also a mini ceremony full of coming-of-age sequences. Evangeline’s was no different. In her chair she first had her crown put on, signifying her growth, with the fact that her tiara was now becoming a crown. After, it was time for the change of shoes. This is a very big part of a quinceanera’s day, due to the fact that it is representing her steps to womanhood in the form of walking towards there in elegance. Evangeline went from converse to alluring golden high heels. Moreover,  it was her last doll. Her last doll is brought to her in the form of a dance. A young girl at first dances with the doll, making her way towards Evangeline, where she then dances with the doll on her own. 

The dance symbolizes the conclusion that she is leaving her childhood behind, with the doll now becoming the symbol of that childhood. After her mini ceremony, the dancing starts. The first dance that she does, there are many ways that it is interpreted. Some call it the family dance, some just call it the father-daughter dance. Evangeline did a dance with her whole family. From her father to her mother, and then her sisters. An emotional moment of the whole Quince, there was no dry eye in sight. This dance, out of all the dancers, pulls the heartstrings because it is a moment the family all take in the fact that their little girl is no longer a little girl. After this, she dances her waltz with her court and then the showstopper, her surprise dance. Her surprise dance is what it is, a surprise. The crowd screams for excitement as they can see and feel her excitement through her dances, getting the guests ready to take on the dance floor themselves. After all this, guests are able to join the dance floor with the Quinceanera and her court, excited to be a part of this moment with her.

Of course, there is so much more that goes on in a Quinceanera. From the preparation to the main day. Yet, it is a prideful moment, not just for the main girl, but also for the family, the court, and the community. As the night ends, the quinceanera takes it all in. The dress, the dances, and the venue. It is all about her and only her. A beautiful day for a beautiful girl like Evangeline.