The Complete Guide: Quinceanera Traditions You Need To Know

The Complete Guide: Quinceanera Traditions You Need To Know

The traditions of a quinceanera party go back centuries.  Otherwise known as quince anos or quinces, is a valued tradition that celebrates a young girls new milestone into adult hood. Unlike the American “Sweet 16” celebration, Quinceaneras are celebrations for when a young woman turns 15 years old.

Rooted in Latin culture, quince celebrations are still different depending on the location and era you might have lived in. From traditional Mexico history to United States creativity, quinceaneras are performed all over the world. However, there are core values that are important. 

The Perfect Banquet Hall for your Quinceanera Traditions

Metropol Banquet Hall Modern Ballroom
Modern Ballroom at Metropol Banquet Hall

Here at Metropol Banquet Hall, we know how to throw a quinceanera that is simply amazing. Your culture and tradition are important to us, which means we’ll work with you to celebrating your quinceanera to amaze all your guests. Contact us for any questions and to schedule a tour of our beautiful party venue!

History of the Quinceanera Tradition

Back in the day of the Aztecs Indians, when a girl turned 15 she would be considered to be ready for marriage. This celebration of age turned to more of a celebratory event for a young girl turning into a women. Originating in Mexico, quinceaneras are now celebrated and practiced all over the world. This mixture of traditional cultures and changes in society has brought up new creative ideas on celebrating quinceaneras. 

Catholic Mass 

Catholic Church

Before celebration begins, the quinceanera and her family attend a religious ceremony for blessings and faith. Entering the church, the quinceanera will be accompanied with her court as well as her family and godparents. The readings are chosen by the quinceanera she, which is usually spoken by her also. 

The blessing renews the quinceaneras Bastimal promise and commitment to God. Like when she was baptized, she is making the vows her own. 

The Quinceanera Traditional Court

Quinceanera And Her Court

Inviting the quinceaneras closest friends is usually what the quinceanera court consists of. Making memories during the quinceanera is what is all about, so that’s why its so important to have your friends over. 

The girls of the quinceanera court are called “damas,” while the boys are called “chambelanes”.The damas and chambelanes will be with the quinceanera throughout the day and are usually with her until all her other guests leave. 

The outfit and dresses of the quinceanera is usually matched coordinating with the rest of her traditional court. The reason is because the quinceanera and her friends will probably be part of a dance number during reception! It takes a lot of dedicated practice and time to get the routine right, so it’s not an easy task to be part of the quinceanera court!

Father-Daughter Dance

One of the most memorable moments during the quinceanera will come when the father dances with his daughter. This usually happens to open the reception event so all guests are still in attendance. The song will usually be very meaningful for the dad and his daughter as she celebrates this new milestone in her life. The dance symbolizes that the father is the first man in her life. 

Fiesta Occasion

Unlike a reception, quinceaneras have an amazing celebration. This the time for guests to relax and unwind the night away. There is a variety of traditional music that is played throughout the day. 

Aside from dancing the night away, there might be a surprise slide show that showcases the time of the quinceaneras early childhood. It’s an emotional moment especially for the parents as they watch their daughter grow up to the beautiful women she is. 

The Quinceanera Toast

Father Speech Quinceanera Tradition
Courtesy of Mir Salgado

To honor the quinceanera on her special day, her parents and family will take the time to thank the family and friend. It’s a rather emotional time for the family since they see their daughter all grown up when saying a few words about their daughter. After the parents are all done speaking, the Quinceanera will say a few words of her own. The quinceanera’s toast is significant because it will be the first time she is speaking as young women on her 15th birthday. 

The Waltz

Remember that dance number that the quinceanera court is supposed to do? That routine is the waltz and is usually performed in the beginning or middle of the reception. The waltz is a well-organized and elegant dance to share during the celebration. This usually happens right after the father and daughter dance, which is both a quinceanera tradition.

Cake Cutting 

Eating Cake

Like any great celebration, there has to be cake involved! The cake cutting ceremony is not only relevant when celebrating a wedding. Accompanied by the quincenera and her parents, she cuts the cake in front of all her guests. This is a great moment to take pictures and laugh together. No matter what size cake is there, it’s a great time for every guest involved.

The Quinceanera Gown 

Quinceanera Tradition Gown

If it’s your birthday, of course you want to be in the spotlight! Symbolizing an “adult dress” the quinceanera tradition gown is meant to be a lavish outfit. Colors are important too since it can help be part of the coordination of the quinceanera and her family.

The birthday girl is usually the one to pick the color since it shows her personality and look of the party. In more traditional quinceanera, the color symbolizes a sense of purity pertaining to the virgin mary.

The Last Doll

Quinceanera Tradition The Doll

The father usually gives the quinceanera a doll to symbolize leaving childish possessions in replacement for more adult items. This doesn’t mean that the daughter can’t buy dolls in the future, but rather saying her interests will move past toys. The doll will usually be dressed like the quinceanera to represent her. 

Quinceanera Tradition Gifts

Gifts ideas are a large deal when it comes to traditional quincearneras. There is a lot of symbolism within each gift, which means that buying the most expensive item at the store might not always be the best idea.

High Heels


What could symbolize adult hood better rather than a pair of high heeled shoes? This gift is usually given by the parents or family members of the quinceanera tradition to pave the way to being an adult. In retrospect, flats represent a sense of childhood, while heels is a step toward being an adult. 



Having been gifted earrings are a reminder that it’s a way to keep the quinceaneras ears open to God and her faith. This means practicing what she preaches, as she grows older. 


A tiara is meant to symbolize the beauty of the quinceanera girl in the eyes of God. It’s a simpler headpiece and its place on top of the head of the young women during the ceremony. This quinceanera tradition is very much alive throughout latin american cultures.


A scepter is a symbolism of authority and a new set of responsibilities. Usually symbolizing faith and sovereignty, it shows that the daughter is a women, not anymore just a young girl. You can find scepter in very traditional quinceaneras.


Every traditional has a symbolism in their culture no matter where they go or end up. Knowing these important quinceanera traditions is a great way to start off and discover what really makes a quinceanera special. Keeping in mind the overall celebration means your can get it done. 

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