June 23, 2018

Quinceañera – Kimberlyn Chiroque



Last Saturday, while taking photos on Coronado Island, I came across Kimberlyn Chiroque and her mother.  She was all dressed up and at first, being a wedding photographer, I thought that she was a bride.  I went along to congratulate and compliment her for being such a fine bride, when I learned that this was her Quinceañera.

 Not knowing what that meant she explained to me that this was a Latin American tradition when a girl turns fifteen.  I found the following, very interesting, information on Wikepedia.com.

 “Quinceañera (lit. meaning One (f.) who is fifteen), is the celebration of a girl‘s fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of immigrants from Latin America.  This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.[

In Mexico, the birthday girl is fixed up with fancy makeup. Traditionally, this was the first time she would wear makeup, but more recently this is no longer the case. She also has her nails and hair done especially for this occasion and dresses up with a fancy dress that she had chosen in advance.  In the Mexican tradition – and if the teenager is Catholic – the quinceañera festival begins with a Thanksgiving mass.  For this mass, the teenager comes dressed with a formal dress, usually quite creative in fashion and reminiscent of what a western bride or princess would wear. Traditionally, the quinceañera would wear a pink dress to symbolize her purity.


Mexican girls cannot dance in public until they are fifteen except at school dances or at family events. Thus, the quincenera waltz with the chambelanes is the girl's first ever public dance. There can also be other rituals such as the ritual of the last doll (“La Ultima Muñeca”). This ritual based on a Maya tradition and it is related to the birthday girl's possession of a childhood toy of her liking. It makes reference to the last such toy in her life since, after the quinceañera event, the girl is now coming closer to marriage and adult life. Another ritual is the ritual of the shoe. In this ritual the teenager's father changes her flat, low-heel shoes to high heels, symbolizing, again, the girl's passage into maturity.”

 When they realised that we are from South Africa and have not attended any of these celebrations before, her mother kindly invited us to Kimberlyn’s celebration in September.

 We’re looking forward to attend this big event!


  1. Well done Rene!

  2. Marinda Snyman says:

    It looks absolutely stunning. What a lovely concept – and it is celebrated with so much flair! You can see that a lot of preparation is done for this occasion. I’m sure you will capture the event in September with your fine photography… looking forward to see the pics!

  3. Yes, you’re right. The celebration is quite something. We can’t wait for September!!!

  4. Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace,
    when i read this article i thought i could also make comment due to this brilliant article.

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