What Is the Meaning of Quinceanera Gifts?

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A Quinceañera is a part of Latino tradition that celebrates a young woman coming of age. The young woman is introduced to society through a celebration that serves as a rite of passage. The festivity is similar to a debutante party, although it has its roots in Aztec culture. A Quinceañera is celebrated on a young woman’s fifteenth birthday and is accompanied with a traditional mass of thanksgiving and a party that follows afterward. Throughout the religious ceremony and party the young woman is given several symbolic gifts.

Religious Gifts

  • Most Quinceañeras begin with a mass, following the Catholic tradition. During the ceremony, the young woman’s godparents will give her a bible, a cross and a rosary. Each symbolizes the young woman’s allegiance and ties to her religious faith. The bible is to keep the word of God in her life, the cross as a reminder of faith and the rosary for prayer. Sometimes a young woman will be given flowers to offer the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Scepter

  • The young woman’s parents or godparents give a scepter as a symbol of authority, just like royal regalia. This gift symbolizes the transition from childhood to womanhood, as it represents the young woman’s responsibility to her community.

Tiara

  • Similar in royal symbolism and allegiance to community, the tiara is given to the young woman to show that she is a princess before God and her family. For the first part of the celebration, the young woman wears a headpiece until the moment that she is presented with the tiara.

Jewelry

  • A full jewelry set with earrings, a ring and a matching bracelet may all be given to the young woman on her special day. The earrings serve as a reminder to listen to the words of God and the ring with the bracelet symbolize the circle of life and the passages that she will go through.

Last Doll

  • The father of the young woman will present her with a doll that represents the end of childish ways and her entrance into womanhood. The doll is kept as a reminder of the occasion.

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  • Photo Credit Silver Tiara image by Francois du Plessis from Fotolia.com
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