One of Mexico's traditions is called the quinceañera, which means 'fifteen-year-old'. It is when a young girl turns 15 and she has a big party to celebrate. It is a fusion of Aztec culture and Spanish Catholicism. In 16th-century Spain, a girl turning 15 meant she had to decide between dedicating her life to God or getting married. Back then, in line with Catholic tradition, the girl would wear a white dress; however, girls now wear dresses of any colour. Finding the right dress for your quinceañera is a big deal and a lot of time is put into finding the right one. The dresses have lots of fabric. Think The Princess Diaries! The party costs a lot of money.
The first stop is for the religious ceremony at the church. Then at the birthday party, there’s music, dancing and lots of food. Family and friends are invited to enjoy the special day. The father dances with his daughter and there is a more modern dance by the birthday girl.
The quinceañera looks like great fun. It’s totally different from how I celebrated my 15th birthday. The age 15 has so much more significance in Mexico than in England. In contrast, I remember my 18th birthday being a big deal because that was when I could call myself an adult.
Mexican culture really interests me. There is so much more to learn about, and I would like to visit someday to experience it in person and practise my Spanish on the locals!
Which birthdays are the most important in your country?