The Quinceañera – A “Precious” Hispanic Tradition | BRCC, Virginia

The Quinceañera – A “Precious” Hispanic Tradition

Tue Oct 19, 2021 at 09:45 AM

Quince Lecture Quince Lecture Quince Lecture

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month activities, the BRCC Cultural Affairs Committee, Diversity Council, and Diversity Club hosted a Zoom lecture with Latinx photographer, Yesenia Lucero Mac Gregor. Yesenia joined participants to discuss the Hispanic tradition of the quinceañera, or “quince”, an elaborate celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday. “The quinceañera is a precious tradition that we share in our community where families welcome young ladies into womanhood,” explained Yesenia.  

The typical quince includes many extravagant elements, perhaps the most impressive being the dress. Long gowns with full skirts and ornate detailing are part of the “princess” aspect of the event, which often is the fulfillment of a parent’s dream of providing a fairytale-like experience for their daughter. “The dress is usually a gift from the parents,” said Yesenia. Another gifting part of the tradition is the “last doll” which is symbolic of parents last gift to their “little girl” before she is a woman.

The quince itself usually also includes a religious component, choreographed dance and entrance, cake, music and more.

Yesenia said that every Latin American country celebrates quinceañera, although individual countries may have specific customs as part of the tradition. An example is that for the Mexican quince, the girl’s “padrinos” or godparents, usually help to pay for the festivities.

During the Zoom, Yesenia’s photos of local girls in their stunning gowns with flawless hair and makeup were shared. BRCC will display some of the images on campus as well as offer a virtual exhibit to further share about the quinceañera.

BRCC English professor and ESL program coordinator, Pam Yates, helped organize the lecture and photo display. “We wanted to look closer at the tradition of the quinceañera because of its prevalence in our community,” said Pam.

The physical display of quinceañera photos is located in the first floor of the Houff Student Center. You may view the virtual exhibit online at https://youtu.be/_xvYRhrAX8I.