Puesta de largo – debutantes Ball – custom for when a 15-year-old child becomes a woman
The celebration marks the transition from girl to woman for the quinceañera. It serves as a way of recognizing that the girl in question has reached maturity. The celebration however varies greatly from country to country. However, turning fifteen does not mean that the girl in question is of legal age because this may vary according to the laws of each country.
In Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Honduras, Brazil, Guatemala, Uruguay, Venezuela and among the immigrants in Spain the party begins with the arrival of the quinceañera, who wears a dress specially made for the occasion, usually vaporous and princess style, usually accompanied on her father’s arm, with a special entrance through the main door, accompanied by music, with applause from the guests. Then begins the waltz ceremony, in which the girl dances first with her father and then with relatives and friends.
In some cases during the dance, the song Tiempo de vals by Chayanne is often used. Normally, the dance is divided into slots, between which the meals are served. The most frequent organization is usually:
- Reception of the guests (it is almost always the parents and siblings who receive the guests)
- Entrance of the quinceanera
- Police bodyguards and private security
- Waltz with the father, family and friends
- First round of dancing
- Playing of the video depicting the Quinceanera’s life
- Second round of dancing, with music
- Toast, cake cutting and dessert
- 15 candles ceremony
- Last round of dancing, delivery of gifts
The music used is the most current, and obviously chosen by the quinceañera. A DJ is hired and given a list of music to play. In Colombia, Uruguay and Argentina it is usual to listen to the song “Quince primaveras” by Vicente Fernandez, which is usually played at the time of the cake cutting.
It is also customary to give a gift as a keep sake to all the guests at the end of the celebration.
A recent use is the candy table, with candied apples, alfajores, bonbons, chocolates, cakes, ice cream, pancakes with dulce de leche, etc.
The ceremony of the fifteen candles
This ceremony consists of the birthday girl giving fifteen candles to the people she considers most important in the development of those fifteen years, and is usually accompanied by a speech, generally dedicated to each of the people to whom this award is given.