One Night as a Princess: Sophomore Celebrates Her Quinceanera

By Ty Overhiser

quincenera
Yasmin Montoya and her cousin, Maggie Montoya, pose for a picture to commemorate the night. The band playing was the final “Hooray” for the day’s events. (The band was the icing on the cake for such a wonderful night). Photo Credit, Nena Montoya

Many kids dream of the perfect birthday party; whether it’s hours of go-kart racing or limitless arcade games, the possibilities are endless. Birthday traditions vary in every culture. In the United States teenage girls often look forward to their “Sweet Sixteen,” a chance to celebrate coming of age. In Hispanic and Latino cultures girls celebrate their Quinceanera or fifteenth birthday. Some kids have family parties, other have a party with friends, then there are  those parties with all of your family.
Nearly two months ago, sophomore Yasmin Mosqueda celebrated her Quinceanera, in the town of La Esmerelda in Guanajuato, Mexico, with over 50 family members. Although her birthday isn’t until January 20th, her annual trip to Mexico for the entirety of December called for an early celebration.
The day of the Quinceanera was a hectic one. Yasmin woke early, she got her hair done at nine in the morning and then slid on her dress for the special occasion which was studded with diamonds along the sides. Then she headed for the church with her parents.
“[That morning was] Stressful, everybody was everywhere, I didn’t know if everything was going to get done on time.” said Yasmin.
Adding to the overall stress of pulling off a perfect Quinceanera, a ceremony traditionally involving a Catholic mass and presentation of jewelry, the priest overseeing the ceremony at the church was late.
“[I was] Nervous, I thought he was going to ask me to speak and I didn’t have anything prepared.” Yasmin said laughing.
Following the ceremony, all of the guests are served food such as rice and carnitas while Yasmin has a chance to go home and relax in some comfier clothes.
“The dress was comfortable enough but had diamonds on the side that made it scratchy on my arms,” said Yasmin, “it felt heavy but it looked pretty. My mom and dad helped me pick it out.”
After a short spell of relaxation, she donned her dress again and then headed to the party where she would spend the remainder of her night partaking in the festivities.
One important tradition for the party is the father-daughter dance.
“I tried not to cry while we were dancing,” said Yasmin smiling, “It was nice. I don’t really dance like that a lot.”
The party was an all night affair with over 50 people.
“That’s how every party in Mexico is. Everyone’s there, it’s an open invite.” Yasmin continued, “I was so nervous that I was gonna forget my steps, there were so many people I didn’t know.”
One of the quintessential parts of any party is the entertainment. That evening, the entertainment was a live musical performance.
“My favorite part of the party was at night, performers got on stage and performed for four hours until the end of the night,” said Yasmin, reminiscing.
After a full day and an eventful night, Yasmin went home and ate for the first time that day, having been too busy thanks to the exciting but chaotic celebration. After that, she crashed on her bed, happy as ever.