: a celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday that is traditionally observed in Latin American cultures to mark her transition to adulthood
Long before the All-American Sweet Sixteen parties hit the birthday planning circuit, the Latin community was celebrating the 15th birthday of their young female family members with the tradition-filled quinceañera. Originating from the Aztec culture around 500 B.C., the quinceañera focuses on the importance of religion, family, music, food and dance to honor the transition from a young girl to a young woman.—Tara Bradley Connell The Mexican and Central American custom—known as a quinceanera—was Sonia's way of telling friends and relatives: "I am no longer a girl. Today I am a woman."—Claudia Puig
: the person for whom a quinceañera is held
The Rev. Marshall Gorley smiled kindly at the nervous quinceanera. He asked if she was ready. She dropped her eyes and nodded shyly. —Claire Martin
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