Quinceañera celebration marks the ‘coming of age’
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The quinceañera (quince anos) is a deeply cherished
tradition among many Hispanic families marking their daughter, or son’s
coming to maturity.
It is a ceremony and a celebration of a young person’s 15th birthday –
noting the offspring’s departure from childhood and commencement into
Heather Trevino, a resident of Gun Barrel City, had her Quinceañera,
Saturday, July 8. She is the daughter of Ceasar and Santa Aracely
Trevino, newcomers to the lake area.
It began with a short religious ceremony at the Church of Christ in
Traditionally, the ceremony is held in conjunction with a Catholic Mass,
but since the Trevinos are not Catholics, they asked their minister,
Dennis Kirkpatrick, to assist them in solemnizing the occasion.
Families will plan up to two years in advance for this event and can
spend upwards of $5,000 to mark the event.
Though usually applied to daughters, the event is not exclusive, and may
be applied to sons as well. It has been likened to the “Sweet 16”
concept,which most are familiar with.
The basic elements of the Trevinos’ event included the giving of gifts,
starting with a ring, a bracelet and a gold chain.
Heather’s dad explained that each gift has a deeper meaning.
The religious ceremony aims at grounding the young person in a life of
right living, in a right relationship with God, her family and
The ring represents her espousal to her Lord and his enduring love and
care for her and encourages her continued purity.
The bracelet represents her willing obedience to her Lord’s precepts and
commands as binding.
The links in the gold chain represent her life lived day by day
faithfully to her Lord.
These symbols were presented to her by her aunt, Norma Rodriquez.
These also represented her first gift received as a woman – her first
The minister read fitting scriptures from the apostle Paul on a
Christian’s freedom from the world to become a slave to Christ and the
call to a faithful life of love and respect.
Heather was preceded into the sanctuary by five maids accompanied by
Their garments were similar to those worn in a wedding ceremony.
Her chosen colors were burgundy, black and white.
Afterwards a reception dinner was held at Brawner Hall in Gun Barrel
City for family and friends.
There a multi-tiered cake and other equally meaningful gifts awaited
Among them was a large collector’s doll, dressed in the same bell-shaped
gown she wore. “This represents her last toy, as she leaves childhood
behind,” her father explained. “She gets no more toys from now on,” he
The event is also likened to a debutante ball, announcing to the
community that a young woman is here and preparing herself to take her
place as a contributing member, as wife, mother and/or business woman.
The tradition was started by the French, according to one source, but is
generally practiced today in Hispanic communities in South America and
many western states.