Quinseañera: The tradition of coming of age in the Hispanic Culture

Posted at 4:31 PM, Sep 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-30 18:31:46-04

The transition from childhood to womanhood is essential in almost any culture. However, Hispanics mark that occasion with a traditional celebration known as a Quinceanera, or Sweet 15.

That time in a woman's life is celebrated and marked by the Hispanic community with a Quinceañera. It isn't clear if the tradition started from the Spanish or the Aztecs, but to this day, it is part of the Mexican, Central, and South American cultures.

"It wasn't until I did my confirmation that I was convinced I wanted my quinceañera," said Lezly Macias.

Traditionally, planning for a Quinseañera takes months, if not years. The quinseañera starts her special day with mass, typically at a catholic church. Before the celebration, the quinseañera has to be baptized and held her first communion and confirmation. She is then allowed to receive a special blessing from the priest as she enters adulthood on her special day.

"It's a lifetime event, and I want to live it. I want to see the experience and what everyone is talking about. I prepared for several months for one special day," said Lezly Macias.

The milestone celebration typically costs anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000, depending on how extravagant, causing many to compare it to a wedding. The entire festivity is filled with joy and celebration throughout the day, sharing spiritual and emotional moments composed of several events that take place throughout the day. Lezly Macias wanted to share her special day and milestone by choosing to donate her quinceañera items to the Idaho State Museum.

"So now we can better tell the story of the people of Idaho. So we are always looking for donations that better represent the people around us and the people of Idaho," said Liz Hobson, Museum Administrator for the Idaho State Museum.

The first-of-its-kind bilingual Quinseañera Pop-up exhibit in the Canyon Gallery will continue to showcase Lezly's items through Hispanic Heritage month, allowing others to learn more about the tradition.

"As a growing Latina, I have dealt with a lot of stuff. And it's nice to let the community know we are here, we are strong, and that's what I like about the Hispanic community," said Lezly Macias.