Search This Blog

Sunday, 8 August 2010

My First Quinceanos (15th Birthday) Celebration

Last night I attended my first fiesta for a 15th birthday and in spite of having an idea what to expect I was still quite blown away at the magnitude of the event. There would easily be as much planning (and cost) involved with a girl's 15th birthday party as with a wedding.

Of course, the event started with a mass to which the birthday girl, called a Quincenera arrived in a car decorated with flower - just like a wedding car. She looked just like a beautiful princess complete with glittering gown and tiara and was accompanied by her parents, brothers and sisters who were all carefully dressed to match her purple gown. Also with her were 4 boys, dressed in suits and purple waistcoats as her attendants. These boys later featured in the dances which she performed for her guests at the fiesta. Traditionally, these boys were relations or friends of hers, but in recent times they are hired especially for the event for their dancing ability.

After the mass in the church, the Quincenera moved to the front of the church to pose for photos and for people to line up to have their photo taken with her. The fiesta in the salon started at 8pm, an hour after the mass finished to allow no doubt for more photos and to allow guests to do their last minute present shopping.

Over 200 invited guests attended the mass and the fiesta in a salon afterwards. Unlike a lot of Mexican fiestas though, the invitees received invitations containing the exact start time and a pass with their name on it. Therefore, people were expected to arrive on time and not to bring any other friends or family along with them for the celebration. This way the family knows how many people they need to cater for at the salon. Even so, some people arrived late and I expect there were a few spare seats for last minute arrivals.

The salon was decorated as if for a wedding, complete with a magnificent cake and a high table for the Quincenera and her family at the front of the room and the Quincenera was officially announced as she entered the room with her parents, the Padrinos (or  Godparents) who paid for much of the fiesta and her 4 male dancing attendants.

Before and during the meal the Quincenera visited every table to thank people for coming and to receive their congratulations and presents.

Later in the night the mother of the Quincenera distributed small boxes of sweets as gifts to each guest and some larger gifts to selected guests.

After dinner she and her four attendants performed choreographed dances for us. The boys were quite good and confident and she looked lovely, but so very nervous and uncomfortable. She definitely appeared to enjoy herself at any other time of the night.

There were four or five dances performed, some featuring the Quincenera and the her four dancers, however some featured only her four dancers, presumably so she had time for the costume changes she required to perform the love songs in her princess dress, pop numbers in her modern gear and the grease number shown here.

After the dance presentation, her father was invited to the floor to waltz with his daughter. After her father, the Padrino was called, followed by Uncles, Nephews and friends until it seemed like almost every invited male guest had danced with her.

The dance floor opened with a light and music show at abt 11am, when everyone hit the floor. Other than a short break for the official cake cutting, the dancing didn't stop until 3.30am when the lights were turned on and the music off and we enjoyed a mixture of salsa, disco, Banda (a form of Mexican country) and danzon.  To complement the party mood, bottles of spirits were distributed for each table during and after the meal and very attendant waiters ensured peoples' glasses were never empty.

Oh what a night for a 15th birthday party!!

No comments:

Post a Comment