Quince: The 15th birthday, the symbolic transition of leaving childhood behind and becoming a young lady. Within the Latino culture this birthday is huge. While some of the traditions of a Quinceañera vary between Latin American countries, the basics consist of the following (and scroll down to read about the Verizon My Fabulous Quince Essay Contest):
The Quinceñera: The birthday girl. She may or may not admit that the idea of wearing a princess gown makes her jump for joy.
Padrinos (god parents): There is one set of god parents that will walk into the church with the girl. These padrinos also help pay for the costs of the quinceñera. You can have several padrinos to help pay for costs (cake, dj, decorations, etc.)
The Court: Damas (girls) and Chambelanes (boys) will consist of family relatives or friends. The chambelanes will wear tuxedos and the damas will wear dresses. There are usually 7 couples who commit to learn a waltz to be performed at the reception. The quinceñera also has her escort.
Depending on your religion, there is a mass held in your honor.
There will definitely be photos! Photos of the quinceñera by herself, with her parents, family, friends and her court are taken at a special location (park, church, somewhere scenic).
Reception: I would guess this is the quinceñera’s favorite part. The party! There will be a dinner which could include a slide show and toasts given by the parents. Before she dances, her father will have her sit down, take off his daughter’s flats and replace them with heels. The father gets the first dance. There may also be a waltz with her and her court (usually choreographed by a professional and practiced over and over until they get it right).
Cake: What is a party without cake? There is usually a doll on top or nearby the cake (her last doll, again symbolic of growing up). Think many tiers of cake (enough to feed all her guests).
Party favors/decorations: These will reflect the theme of the quinceñera.
Verizon is holding what sounds like the world’s most amazing contest, called My Fabulous Quince, and the Grand Prize includes a trip to Los Angeles, being styled by Jennifer Lopez and 3BALL MTY playing at your party, not to mention a $5000 college scholarship. Fabulous indeed! Click over to read all the entry rules and to get started on your essay.