#ThrowbackThursday Sweet Fifteen – a Cuban Quinceañera

It’s #ThrowbackThursday and I’m taking you back to my daughter’s Quinceañera. In Latin customs, it’s not typical to do a Sweet Sixteen, but rather a Quinceañera – a “Sweet Fifteen.”

The Quinceañera is a big ritual which usually starts with a mass at church and then on to a venue for the rest of the celebration.

Since the celebration is about the passage of a female child into womanhood, there are many symbolic moments in the celebration.

For example, the young lady walks in with her father wearing a very fancy dress, children’s shoes, and a toy, but then changes into heels and hands her toy off to a young child to symbolize that she is leaving childhood. The young lady is usually accompanied by her father and a court consisting of 14 young people.

After a dance with her father and the court, the women of the family present various gifts to the young woman to signify her new role in life. It’s customary for the young woman to receive:

    A tiara
    A bracelet or ring
    A necklace, cross or medal
    And since it is partly a religious ceremony, a bible or rosary

At our daughter’s Quinceañera, I gave her a ring from her my mom, who unfortunately never got to meet. This is a picture of that moment.


After this, there is usually a meal. Later, there is a lighting of 15 candles, where the young woman offers a candle to 15 people (or groups of people) who have been special in her life.

After that, more food and dancing! Cubans love to party! The theme of our Quinceañera was Old Cuba since we can’t go to Cuba yet. Maybe one day.

We had a fabulous time at the Quinceañera and I know it will be a day we all will remember with joy and happiness.

4 thoughts on “#ThrowbackThursday Sweet Fifteen – a Cuban Quinceañera”

  1. That is such a beautiful picture of you and your daughter. I wish we could do something like that (we are Cuban too). You see we moved away from our family because of work reasons, and now it’s just not possible to round up everyone. Second, money always a factor, which is ridiculous. We thought about the cruise to Europe, just the six of us for her 16s but she stood up and said we’re Cuban, and it’s ok we can’t do it when I’m 15. She said she rather just go to dinner the six of us and maybe take a friend or two along to a fancy place to eat. So that’s the plan for next year. Oh and her studio pictures 🙂

  2. What a great thing to do and great picture! When we were in Cuba last year our guide was telling us about this, about his daughter getting all dressed up, the party, etc. When we were in Havana we saw some young ladies at the hotel we were looking at (?The National or something like that, big and fancy!) who were having their photos taken and were all dressed up and I think this was their Quinceanera? Really neat and fun!

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