May 13, 2014
Los Cumpleanos en Espanola
In Spanish countries birthdays for young and old are celebrated with much consideration. But Birthdays are celebrated just a little different from how we celebrate them in the USA. In Spain, instead of getting a punch in the arm for every year of your life, you get a tug on your ear… plus one for good luck. Another different custom in Spain is when you are old enough; you throw your own parties and treat your friends with appetizers and glasses of cold beer. But when you have your birthday as a child, your parents invite your friends over for snack time, and you have yema, an egg yolk flavored cake. Most of your life your birthdays will be low-key celebrations, but for girls they have one major birthday. In Latin American cultures, the transition from girlhood to womanhood is a special time, not only for a girl herself, but also for her family and even community. Traditionally, in the eyes of Latin American communities, the 15th birthday has marked the point of a girl’s maturity. So, to celebrate this significant birthday, families throw elaborate birthday parties called quinceañeras. During a girl’s quinceanera, her family and close friends attend a “Thanksgiving” mass were she recommits her self to God, and Saint Marry. While attending mass she is accompanied by a court. The court may accompany her down the aisle in the church procession, but it also has customary roles in the reception afterward. Traditionally, a full court is made up of 14 girls and 14 boys, in addition to an escort for the quinceañera herself, with each couple representing a year of the girl’s life. The quinceañera will typically ask friends and family members to make up her court. Like a wedding party, the girls will be expected to wear matching gowns, and the men will be asked to wear tuxes. Also, the court should be prepared for a special dance during the celebration. According to custom, a...
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