A sweet sixteen is a coming of age party celebrating a girl’s 16th birthday. There are celebrations in different cultures all over the world, such as the quinceañera in Central and South American countries  at  beautiful age of 15. In some families these celebrations are as important and elaborate as weddings. They can range from formal, to casual, or somewhere in between.

In America a sweet sixteen is a bench mark party where entire halls are rented, catered, and all of her friends are invited to introduce her to the world as an emerging adult. One of the most planned for features of the sweet sixteen is a elaborate dress, almost as important as a bridal gown, the sweet sixteen dress is traditionally a ball gown.

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Although it is common that sweet sixteens are mostly celebrated by young ladies, it’s not uncommon to throw a party for the boys too. We don’t want to leave out 1/2 of our opportunity for a great party!  Sweet sixteens can range from modest parties at home with close family to large affairs with a hired DJ, makeup, hair styling, expensive gowns and dresses, and hotel ballrooms. Even if it is a small party, the main purpose of the party is to celebrate the person becoming “older” and entering a different stage of their life.

In countries such as Australia and New Zealand, the 16th birthday is what we think of in the United States as a teenager’s 18th birthday celebration, the age at which young people are legally allowed to vote, marry, and consume alcohol, so this is really a big deal when it comes to recognizing a young lady taking that first step into the adult world both in ceremony and legally.

Quinceañera VS Sweet Sixteen Birthday Party

Today in America turning 16 is a huge event for young ladies!!! Most young ladies will usually have a glamorous party to celebrate them turning into a women, and also the fact they are now old enough to drive. In Mexico and some parts of America when a Latino young lady turns 15 she has a celebration known as a Quinceañera!! A Quinceañera and a sweet sixteen celebration are not exactly the same they can be very different from each other. I am going to briefly discuss what each type of celebration is, that way you can understand the similarities and differences of each celebration.

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You may be wondering what exactly the Quinceañera  trend is? It is the party thrown for a girl’s fifteenth birthday, of course. This birthday is celebrated differently than all other birthdays, because it marks her transition from childhood to young womanhood. Many Latina girls celebrate a Quinceañera however, not all countries have the same traditions. For instance in Cuba they may have a more religious celebration than they do in Mexico or America.

A Quinceañera usually has different ceremonies, a very familiar one is the ceremony of the Change of Shoes. This is when the father or close family member slips on new high heel shoes to the birthday girl’s feet; this symbolizes her passage into maturity. Also another common ceremony is the ceremony of the last doll. This is when the father presents to his a daughter a doll, the doll may look similar to the girl. This represents the change of his daughter going from a young girl into womanhood. Some celebrations may be more religious than others, and have different ceremonies included. In Mexico or in America a Quinceañera is a huge celebration with lots of “traditional” food, music, dancing and close friends and family members. The young lady who is having the Quinceañera will usually have on a white or brightly colored dress and also have a crown on her head. The young lady will have a grand entrance to her celebration and by escorted by a male friend or family member. She will be followed by her friends and family behind sort of like you would see at a wedding. When a young girl is getting ready to have a Quinceañera there is a lot of time and money spent in making it a perfect day to remember!!!! The main theme or reason why girls have this celebration, is because they are no longer viewed as a child but as a young woman. This is a great accomplishment and, I believe you should certainly have a huge celebration!! 🙂

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A sweet sixteen birthday party is a party for a girl when she turns sixteen. It also represents her transition from a girl to young womanhood, as well as her now being old enough to drive a vechicle.The party can be either a small gathering or a huge gathering depending on the budget. There is typically music, dancing, presents, cake and in some cases a new car!!! When a girl has a sweet sixteen birthday party now days it is common to have a “theme” to the party. The birthday girl will typically also have a fancy dress it may be long or short and colored depending on the theme or style. Sweet sixteen birthday parties are not as structured and traditional as a Quinceañera celebration. Generally you will see decorations with the number 16 on them representing the age the girl has turned. A sweet sixteen birthday party like a Quinceañera represents the transition from a girl to a young woman!!! A good part of a sweet sixteen like I said before is that usually if you’re lucky you will also get a CAR!!! J

As you can see, both types of parties/celebrations are representing the change from a young girl to a young woman. However, a Quinceañera is more traditional and has certain ceremonies that you will see the same throughout the world if you attend a Quinceañera. A sweet sixteen birthday party is not so traditional and can have many different themes or customs. Each culture plays a different role in how these celebrations are done. One of main difference that I did notice between the two celebrations is that, a sweet sixteen party focuses alot on the fact the girl is now old enough to drive. A Quinceañera is more focused on the transition from a child to a young woman. Each celebration is a bit different but, they both have a great turnout!!!

I hope you enjoyed learning!!

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