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The Quinceañera or Quince Años (sometimes represented XV Años, meaning "fifteen years") is, in some Spanish-speaking regions of the Americas, a young woman's celebration of her fifteenth birthday, which is celebrated in a unique and different way from her other birthdays. In some countries, such as Puerto Rico or Peru, the word Quinceañero is used instead of Quinceañera when referring to the celebration.
The word is also used to refer to the young woman whose 15th birthday is being celebrated (analogous to the word cumpleañera for "birthday girl"). The closest equivalents to the Quinceañera in the English-speaking world are the sweet sixteen or, in more affluent communities, a debutante ball at the age of eighteen.
This celebration marks the transition from the childhood to womanhood. It serves as a way to acknowledge that a young woman has reached maturity.
While this traditional celebration is still practiced nowadays in Latin America and Latino communities in North America, it is sometimes observed by other events that focus more on the Quinceañera wishes (e.g. world traveling). However, in some cities the Baile de las Debutantes (Debutantes' Ball) is also celebrated.
Some other traditions observed in the celebration include the giving and throwing of a quince doll. The display doll signifies the young lady's last doll as a child and the throwing doll, usually a Barbie type or any other is fine too, is thrown by the young lady to the other female children in attendance much as the garter is thrown in a wedding. The celebrant is wearing flats, or flat shoes for the celebration but after the inaugural dance the father of the young lady, who is sitting in a chair in the center of the dance floor, removes her flats (girls shoes) and puts her high heels on signifying her becoming a young lady.
The traditional color of a quinceañera's dress is pink but now in modern cultures the guest of honor picks the color of the dress. She also wears a tiara because she is a princess in God's eyes that night. She holds a court with 14 girls (damas) and 15 boys (chambelanes) which including herself would equal 30 people, or, 15 couples (to represent each year). At the party the court does a waltz and a surprise dance. The girl also dances with her father but first changes from flats to heels to represent the first time she can wear them (the same with makeup). She could also get a doll with the exact same dress she has on to signify that this will be the last doll she ever will receive. In the past the party would show the girl is ready to be married, but now in today's culture it is so the girl can date. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quincea%C3%B1era]