Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 175 (1/22): Quinceanera

I went to my first Quinceneara tonight. My co-worker and friend has a daughter that turned 15 which is similar to the American tradition of Sweet 16 parties.  I was so excited to celebrate and see this tradition in the Latin American culture. The invitation was gorgeous - sorry you saw the picture after I had cut off the vellum photo that I was going to use in her gift.  I had to google what some of the words meant on the invitation - damas and chambalans are the female and male escorts similar to bridesmaids and groomsmen. Did I meantion I was excited?  Well I was...I love learning and experiencing new things.

I wasn't able to attend the church service because we were in the middle of a basketball tournament.  In fact, I had to leave Colton with another player the last game so that we could make it to the reception in time. We arrive in Junction City, at the Courtyard Marriott and were greeted with this fabulous table of masks.

Look at the poster of her - doesn't Leah look like a princess?  Wow - I can't imagine having anything like this for my 15th birthday.  I think I probably had a slumber party with my friends.

So we walk inside the reception hall (yes we were the first ones there since we didn't make in in time to the church service) and the hallelua chorus was playing in my head as I looked around at the reception site----Allleeeelllluuuuuuaaaaa - WOW!
The table centerpieces were these cone-like metal structures with masques and tuile woven in.  My photos don't do it justice because of the dark lighting in the room.  I guess I'm going to have to make another trip to Wolfe's camera to get a fancy flash.

The Barton Crew modeled our masks. 

Then it was time for Mis Quince Anos to enter with her court.

Check out the damas dresses.  These were really cool because they were so versatile.  When the dance started they took off the jackets and the overlay on the bottom of the dress and they because thin-strapped short party dresses.  Great idea for bridesmaid dresses too!

We ate supper and then dined on a yummy chocolate fountain.  This girl in white went two or three times back to the fountain - those were very trusting parents!  Dripping chocolate and white party dress = disaster for me and I'm an adult!

The next part of the evening was interesting as the court marched back in along with the Princess and her parents.  The court lined up and watched as the parents marched Leah in and placed her in a chair in the center of the dance floor. The young girls carried in a pillow with silvery high heels on one and a sceptor and tiara on the other one.  The youngest girl carried the stuffed animal from the church service.
Her father put on the high heels signifying her transition from childhood to young womanhood.  He had a hard time getting those heels on.  The DJ kept announcing that the father just didn't want his little girl to grow up.
He put on her tiara (symbolizing she is a princess before God) and gave her a scepter (symbolizing authority and responsibility). I've decided I need a scepter for my classroom. Do you think if I waved that around my students would know who is Boss?  :)
The proud father takes his daughter's hand and leads her into her first dance as a lady.  Everyone watched as it was truly magical and significant in her life and in his.

This next picture is one of my favorites. The father then gives over the new lady to his father and her mother's father to dance.  The grandfather was so happy and embraced her with open arms. It made me think of my own grandpas and one wasn't alive when I turned 15 and I never danced with either one of them.  That would have been real special to me.  I hope she remembers this day and how truly wonderful it is to have that opportunity.
She danced with her grandfathers and then also her uncles that were in attendance...I lost count after 4.

And then her father turned her over to her date to dance. 
The court then joined them in a Waltz.  They also choreographed a fun dance.  So watch the video and enjoy a piece of tradition.  It is rather long but worth it. The kids did great and I imagine they spent a long time practicing and preparing for the big day.

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