"Some say it is the boom in the Hispanic population, while others point to today's party-mad, status-driven culture and the success of the MTV show 'My Super Sweet 16.' But there is no doubt that the Hispanic coming-of-age quinceanera is more popular, move lavish and, in subtle ways, more American than ever. Picture a souped-up debutante ball without the high-society trappings or a bat mitzvah with an extra dose of razzle-dazzle, and a portrait emerges of many modern-day quinceaneras, a term that derives from the word quince (pronounced KEEN-say), which means 15 in Spanish." (New York Times) This article discusses the growing lavishness of quinceaneras.
"Welcome to...sweet 16, emblematic of a party that has moved out of the basement and the garage and into some of the swankiest hotels in the USA." (USA Today) This article discusses the increased number of extravagant sweet sixteens, bar/bat mitzvahs and quinceaneras.
The article examines why lavish quinceañeras have suddenly become so popular in the U.S. According to the author, what used to be a simple, down-home tradition--a pale pink dress, a blessing at the church, and a backyard fiesta with some barbacoa and a norteño band and papel picado for decoration--has morphed into something grander, pricier, showier, more American. Comments from Cindy Benavides of Strategic Events are included.
"Quinceaneras have been a custom among Latinos since pre-Columbian days, when indigenous tribes in South America inducted young women into the community on their 15th birthdays. Over time, this rite of passage has evolved into the kind of lavish ceremony one might associate with a debutante ball. The Roman Catholic Church has recently taken steps to institutionalize the ceremony by introducing a prayer book especially for quinceaneras." (Los Angeles Times) Details of the prayer book, which is the first of its kind to be approved by the Vatican, are related.