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A family gathers in front of an outdoor grill
Family Celebrations
Family Celebrations
  1. Birthdays
  2. The Tooth Fairy
  3. Baptisms
  4. La Quinceanera
  5. Driver’s License
  6. Bar Mitzvah
  7. Apache Sunrise Ceremonial
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girl praying before state of Virgin Mary
Praying before the Virgin Mary during the Quinceanera celebration.
Photo from Loiusville Courier-Journal. Photo by Pam Spaulding.
La Quinceanera
Traditionally, a Latina girl celebrates a Quinceanera on her fifteenth birthday. The word Quinceanera refers both to a girl who turns fifteen and to the celebration that takes place on her fifteenth birthday. At a Quinceanera, a Latina girl leaves her childhood behind for womanhood. The Quinceanera will soon take on more familial responsibilities. Quinceanera celebrations are usually very expensive. In some communities, neighbors and family members donate money for the festivities. The importance and cost of a Quinceanera has been compared to that of a wedding. Families search for an appropriate dress and plan for the event months in advance. Most Quinceaneras begin with a mass and special prayers at a church. During the church ceremony, the girl’s father replaces his daughter’s shoes with a pair of symbolic high-heeled shoes. The girl also receives a crown and sometimes jewelry. After the ceremony, friends and relatives accompany the new woman to a reception where she dances with family members wearing her new shoes, crown, and elaborate dress. Decorations, food, and dancing create an exciting party for all.
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