As in most cultures, the passage of a young girl from childhood to womanhood is celebrated. In some, this is what they call the Quinceañera, celebrated at the fifteenth birthday. This special event is celebrated in countries such as Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela with only little differences. It is a way to acknowledge that a young woman has reached sexual maturity and is now at a marriageable age.
Though there may be variations among different regions that celebrate the Quinceañera, one thing is common among all of them. That is, the young woman comes out wearing a wonderful ball gown. The gown that the celebrant would wear is one of the highlights of the event. Decked out in the most elegant ball gown, the young lady would spend the night feeling like a princess. Interestingly, many Hispanic families and clans are integrating this tradition with the modern times. Some families choose the traditional route; having the Misa de Accion de Gracias, also known as the thanksgiving mass. Some though, opt for a more relaxing modern approach. Blending with the parties of today, there are Quinceañeras celebrated as a theme-based party. One of the most popular theme being a masquerade ball. In general, a masquerade ball is essentially a sophisticated party where most wear a mask depending upon the theme. There are also variations of a themed masquerade ball ranging from medieval to contemporary. This means that the gowns worn will also vary upon which theme was chosen for the celebration.
Quinceañera dresses can be traditional such as a long ball gown that exudes formality. It can be flattering but modest to satisfy those audiences that are of the older generation. Dresses with necklines that plunge too low or hems that go too high may be regarded as dishonorable by some. A few dresses are shorter with cute patterns and colors especially if the theme is more laid-back in a modern setting. These dresses may have feathers or detailed patterns that can liven up the event, but still maintain the image of progression from a young lady to a grown woman.
The current trend involves ball gown styles with bare shoulders and long hems that reach the floor. Masquerade ball gowns are generally made up of rich fabric with an intricate design and mostly decorated with jewels, beads, and feathers that boast of ethereal taste. The classic styles have large bell-shaped skirt and a renaissance-styled bodice. There are other variations but the design doesn’t go too far from the original style. Most of the Quinceañera dresses are designed with a young lady in mind. With that, the dresses are usually of a brighter shade of color representing the vibrant celebrant.
As with all masquerade balls, the gowns worn are usually paired with an appropriate accessory fitting for the event. Some choose masks that accentuate the dress and create an air of mystery. These masks are designed with feathers and jewels of a brighter shade. Some celebrants choose the tiara to create that air of royalty and increase that feeling of being a princess.
The Quinceañera is a glorious celebration that remains to be a cherished and honored tradition. There is no doubt that celebrating it for tradition’s sake is something to be taken into consideration but as with celebrations that happen only once in a lifetime, one should give a thought about celebrating it with style.