La quinceanera - A girl's right of passage into womanhood, which is celebrated when a girl turn's 15. I wrote this a year ago for Spanish class, and i got an A.

Essay by ajar1189Junior High, 7th gradeA+, February 2003

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La Quinceañera

Today in my Spanish class I learned about la quinceañera. This is a celebration of a girl's 15th birthday. This is a tradition and custom done throughout the entire South American continent, and by people who were born/raised in South America. The quinceañera is a very big, and religious celebration. The custom was started by the Aztecs a long time ago, and still exists now. La quinceañera is a girl's rite of passage into womanhood. The event is very much like a wedding, and costs a lot of money. The quinceañera takes place at a church, just like a wedding would.

From the moment the girl is born, her parents start saving up money for her quinceañera. It would take a large investment before the family can start organizing things for this occasion. The huge event is planned months in advance so everything will be ready when it is time for the celebration.

Sometimes, if the family is rich enough they will hire a professional planner for the occasion. The parents invite hundreds of people for this gathering. Aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, grandparents, friends, other family all attend the quinceañera. The parents have to have a huge cake, good music, and lots of food. Some old and new customs can be part of a girl's quinceañera. Like the traditional dress color was pink, or that the family would hire a DJ to play the music.

The girl who the celebration is for is a "princess for the night". She gets treated with lots of respect and courtesy (not like she normally wouldn't). But now she gets treated even better, no one would spoil the good time at the celebration. Her father would give her high-heeled shoes to represent her leaving childhood. Her parents would also give...