Every culture has it's own history. Usually there was a conquest driven by an opposing culture that has an impact on both the winners and losers.
The major change in the Mexican and surrounding countries was when the Europeans conquered the Aztec people. The conquest brought many changes to the natives living off of the land.
There was a lot of assimilation between the two cultures. The Spanish language and Catholic religion were two areas that impacted the people.
The Aztec's celebrated their own rite-of-passage ceremony when a girl became 15. The ceremony was a humble community fiesta. Combined with a ceremony of gratitude and being thankful for the Quinceanera's fifteen years.
When the Europeans conquered the people and took over the land they influenced the change in the rite-of-passage celebration. In Europe each celebration was a lavish ball. Because of this the Quince celebration became a gala ball
in most cases replacing the humble community event.
- Thus, today is the influence of the past extravagant balls which have also been influenced by the Disney movies of Cinderella.
- Have we lost the meaning of the lovely heritage that our ancestors suffered to carry over the past centuries? Or is the contemporary influence from TV and Hollywood a normal transgression to where we are today?
- Are the limo's are $150 per hour necessary to make a Quinceanera meaningful? Does a $600 plus birthday cake taste better than one made by friends or relatives?
It's each Quinceanera and her family who have to make the choice of what is really important to them when they celebrate the very important day in her life.
Life is about choices. We need to always consider what is the outcome we want and why do we want it?
There has been a lot of writings about the history of Quinceanera about the Aztec people in Mexico. The Aztec's had a very difficult life. Since the information has been collected over the years one can't tell how much is folklore and what's the real facts.
One must realize there was no method of recording events then. The method was usually handed down from one generation to another through stories and pictures. Very different than we have had in the last 200 years. Therefore there might be some information contained in this report that differs from other information found on the Internet or written in books.
Prior to 1521, when the Spanish conquered the Aztecs, women were not treated with equality. They were looked upon the woman for their value of having children. The woman was trained in the areas that was important for survival in their daily life. The skills taught by their elder women in the community; was cooking, weaving and skills for daily household chores.
This is the source of the history of the Quinceanera which commenced with the training to prepare the girl her life.
After the conquest of the Spaniards in South America both cultures were combined. The lavish coming-out balls that were celebrated in Europe was a major influence in the tradition of today's history of the Quinceanera.
When a girl reached the age of 15 she had to make the decision to pledge her life to the church or marry. She was presented to the community at a special ceremony in church for making her transition from a child to a woman. After the church mass their was a party for her family and the community. Most of the fiesta's for her Quinceanera were held on the farm or at a town hall. Her special Quinceanera dress/gown was handmade usually by a family member.
The Quinceanera tradition of having sponsors contributing to the Quinceanera for all areas of the Quince special celebration, has been handed down from one generation to another.
The Quinceanera's parents invite close members of the family and special friends to sponsor an area or item for their daughter's special Quinceanera ceremony. Most often the Quinceanera's Godparents, are named: Madrinas and Padrinas. In the Hispanic culture this tradition is considered an honor for Godparents to participate in their Goddaughters special Coming-of-Age ceremony.