Quinceañera: A young Latina’s first step into adulthood

Jackie Gildo, Staff Writer

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  • Juniors Emely and Elizabeth Lopez-Cardona celebrated their Quinceañera in July, 2019.

    Photo Courtesy of Emely Lopez-Cardona

  • Sophomore Annalia Escalante poses for a photo prior to the start of her Quinceañera.

    Photo Courtesy of Annalia Escalante

  • A mariachi band plays during the celebration of Escalante’s 15th birthday.

    Photo Courtesy of Annalia Escalante

  • Friends and family of Escalante celebrate with a dance party.

    Photo Courtesy of Annalia Escalante

  • Escalante attends Catholic church service before the start of the celebration. This is a tradition for many quinceañeras.

    Photo Courtesy of Annalia Escalante

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The diverse community of Piper allows people to learn about a storied tradition in the Hispanic community, Quinceañeras. A quinceañera is a celebration held at the age of 15 about coming-of-age. It’s when a young Latina is considered to be entering adulthood.

Sophomore Annalia Escalante had her quinceañera on Aug. 1, 2020. She too believes in the meaning of a quinceañera.

“The importance is that it signifies a girl becoming a young woman,” Escalante said.

There is a lot of planning that goes into the big day. Most families begin planning up to one year before the actual date of the event.

Twin sisters, Emely and Elizabeth Lopez-Cardona, had the chance to experience their big celebration together on July 27, 2019.

“Planning my quinceanera was just as stressful as you’d think,” Emely Lopez-Cardona said. “You only turn 15 once and it meant a lot to my family and I.”

It’s very common in the Catholic religion for quinceañeras to have a church service on the day of their quince.

“There’s usually a mass before the big celebration to start the day off,” Escalante said. “It’s just a part to give thanks to God for letting you live till you’re 15 and to bless you. At the end of the mass, there are traditional gifts, like a bible, a ring, a pillow, a necklace, and just jewelry in general. Then the Priest blesses your gifts.”

The celebration of the quinceañera can be traditional or modernized. There are many different variations of events that can happen during a quince.

“I didn’t have a basic traditional quince,” Elizabeth Lopez-Cardona said. “My mom cut off a lot of events that can be considered traditional.”

A lot of young Quinceañeras are inspired by past family members to have the opportunity to celebrate their coming-of-age.

“My oldest sister convinced my twin sister and I to have a Quinceañera,” said Emely Lopez-Cardona. “I remember having so much fun and I would do anything to go back to that night.”