Quinceañera dominicana…

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The story of a magical  day ....

    the story of Lorena, una Quinceañera dominicana ...

A day of September 18th 2010, which actually began three years ago when Lorena was still a girl, but dreaming of the day when she will come among young woman.


A day prepared by her mother, Lucia, with all the love and devotion of a mother and the desire that her daughter enter new phase of her life with all the pomp she deserves. I asked her if she had such a "fiesta". He answered smiling: „nooo”, but she's very happy that she could do it for her daughter, even if for this ( and I know that!) she has worked hard.

This article is dedicated primarily to them, Lorena and Lucia, and to all our readers who want to know more about the traditions of Dominican culture.    

Quinceañera (sometimes also called Fiesta Quinceañera, or simply quinces) is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of Hispanics from America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from childhood to womanhood. The celebration, however, varies significantly across countries, with celebrations in some countries taking on, for example, more religious overtones than in others.

In the Dominican Republic this celebration is very traditional and common. It begins with a Mass in the Church to receive the blessing of God and give thanks for another year of life.

At the church ceremony, a special Kneeling Pillow, sometimes personalized with the Quinceañera’s name, is placed in position for the young girl to kneel on during the ceremony. And, a touch of elegance is added with smaller decorated Ceremony Pillows for the presentation of the Quinceañera’s ceremony gifts, such as the Tiara, the Scepter and the Shoes.

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There are many traditions throughout the Quinceañera celebration. One of the most popular is the changing of the shoes. The father or favored male relative ceremoniously changes the young girl’s flat shoes to high heels. This is a beautiful symbol of the Quinceañera’s transformation from a little girl to a young lady.

It is traditional for the Quinceañera to choose special friends to participate in what is called the Court of Honor. Usually, these young people are her closest friends, her brothers, sisters, cousins – the special people in her life with whom she wants to share the spotlight. The Quinceañera's Court of Honor can be comprised of all young girls (called Dama), all young men (called Chambelán or Escorte or Galán) or a combination of both..

The Quinceañera traditionally wears a ball dress, with her Court dressed in gowns and tuxedos. On the day, all the girls get dressed together and have the same dresses, shoes, hairstyle. The boys go to the place where the girls are getting ready and find the girls and take them to the place where the celebration is to be held. Guests usually receive small tokens, cápias and cerámicas, to commemorate the celeIMG_3707bration.

At the birthday party the Quinceañera makes its great entrance to the place of the party, in this case the home of the teenager, accompanied by 14 additional pairs, which together with the teenager's own are 15 pairs.

She sits on a highly decorated chair, watching the audience and prepare for the moment of changing his status: she will enter in a society like a young woman. Her father or her padrino goes to her and puts ceremoniously her new shoes on her (from him) and he asks her to dance.

After this moment,  it is customary for the Quinceañera and couples escorts to perform several choreographed dances, which may include rhythms like merengue, pop, salsa, etc..

La Quinceañera and with her partner companion and his Court will dance 2 songs  with each other - one slow song followed bIMG_3833y the merengue. They may have lessons beforehand.

At the party, there is always the toast to the Quinceañera, known as the brindis. With decorated Champagne Glasses, the guests are invited to offer their congratulations and best wishes.

It is also customary to serve a buffet and some drinks during the celebration of it. As the supply of souvenirs or memories to the guests, besides the traditional album in which firms invited to enter the celebration sign to record their presence at the party. One of the main attractions in the Dominican Republic is the traditional cake of fifteen years, which usually becomes a cake of immense size and beauty, as they get to use very colorful designs to decorate it. And which is cut shortly after the firm used bCantantey the teenIMG_3849ageIMG_3843r.

Traditionally the participation of an artist or band in the celebration of the feast to bring it and give the musical touch.

After that, the party begins!!!      

The Traditional Ceremony Gifts

The Traditional Ceremony Gifts have special meaning for the Quinceañera celebration, and their honored significance relates to the Quinceañera's coming of age. The Traditional Ceremony Gifts are special signs of loyalty and commitment to God, family and the community. Where the celebration includes the Mass of Thanksgiving, the gifts are presented to the priest for special blessing. These ceremonial items may include:

TIARA - Denotes a "princess" before God and the world; a triumph over childhood and ability to face the challenges ahead.

CROSS or MEDAL - Signifies faith  in God, in herself, and in her world.

BIBLE (or PRAYER BOOK) & ROSARY  - Important resources to keep the word of God in her life.

SCEPTER - Symbolizes authority, and more importantly, responsibility for her life, that is now being given to the young woman.

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In some Hispanic cultures, also in Dominican Republic, the gifts are given to the Quinceañera by "padrinos" (also called godparents) specially chosen by the family. The padrinos who give the Traditional Ceremony Gifts are formally recognized, and often are part of the procession for either the church or reception ceremony, or do the presentation of the gifts to the priest for the blessing.

The TIARA also plays a role in the actual Quinceañera ceremony. It is traditional for the headpiece worn by the Quinceañera to be ceremoniously replaced with the tiara. The "Crowning" is done either by her parents or the godparents presenting the gift. The Scepter is also presented to the Quinceañera at the same time. This ceremony usually takes place at the reception.

The Ceremony Gifts are the distinctive, precious treasures for the ceremony; a cherished custom that highlights the Quinceañera tradition.

The Guests

The mix of family and friends, young and old, near and far – all combine to make the celebration unique and special. Guests experiencing this beautiful tradition for the first time, frequently ask us, “Is a gift appropriate?” Yes, dear friends, a gift is appropriate. A Quinceañera celebration is basically a big birthday party (although a very special, very memorable one). So, anything that you think the young lady would like to receive would be an appropriate gift.

We do suggest, however, that because this is such a unique birthday, that you select a gift that commemorates this very special event in her life.

Whatever you choose, we are certain that the young lady will appreciate your gift.

Enjoy your experience with the Quinceañera tradition!

The Quince Años is a glorious celebration that remains a cherished and honored tradition


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