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In Puerto Rico Cuba Mexico and other Latin American countries a girls entrance into womanhood and her eligibility for marriage is celebrated at her Quincea From a North of the Boarder viewpoint it may be seen as a cross between a Sweet 16 and a debutantes coming out party Palfrey The origins of the Quincea can be traced back to the time of the Aztecs It was traditional for the parents of a young Aztec maiden to formally acknowledge her passage into womanhood This would include a stern but tender exhortation of the passage Palfrey The planning for a Quincea is done well ahead of time sometimes in years before the actual event The event can cost upwards of that of a small wedding The Quincea is important because from the day on the sweet fifteen girl can find a good path to become a better person with new ideas because until that day everything was made easy for her everything was beautiful Now she will grow up to be a matured person with many responsibilities Alomar and Zwolinski One of the most important processes of the Quincea celebration is choosing a dress The dress is usually custom-made or bought at a specialty store Like the wedding gown the Quincea dress marks a change in the wearers status La Quincea Dresses vary in color with the traditional Quincea dress color being white In Central America Cuba and in Puerto Rico the dress is invariably pink or at least a pastel shade such as lavender blue or yellow La Quincea Some of the most important people in the traditional celebration include padrinos de velacion who in the past will pay for the mass the madrina de anillo who gives the girl a birthstone ring the madrina de medalla who will the girl a medal with her patron saint and the madrina de libro y rosario who will present the girl with a bible and the
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