Quinceanera -- Exploring Hispanic Heritage

Congratulations to Sara S. for winning the WordWorld Kooky Spooky Halloween DVD!

Since Hazel loves birthday parties, I thought reading some books about a quinceañera would be right up her alley. A quinceañera is a fiesta for a Latina girl who turns fifteen. The fifteenth year is traditionally when girls turn into women in Latin American cultures. The traditional celebration differs from country to country. Most include a special dress for the quinceañera and a dance with her father (often a waltz) followed by a meal, dancing and a cake. Often there is a mass before the fiesta to honor the girl. In some countries the quinceañera has a court of friends ranging from 7-14 of each gender. (Source)

Fiesta de quinceañera en México
Fiesta de Quinceañera in Mexico
Source: By Yuritzi Ramírez (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

In America, many Hispanic families are combining their Latina traditions with American ones and celebrating Sweet 16 instead of the quince (15), but still having the same type of affair. The quinceañera traditionally wears a ball gown and a tiara. Her court of honor (made up of people closest to her: siblings, cousins and close friends) also wear ball gowns and tuxedos. Often the quinceañera passes along the last doll or all of her dolls to her younger sibling or younger guests present. Many of these fiestas have hundreds of guests. It is very much like a wedding with the gown and the large party. (Source and books listed below)

Last Doll Tradition Source: Quinceanera Boutique

To learn about the quinceañera tradition, we looked to some books from the library. The ones listed above are what we found. The first book, Celebrating a Quinceañera: A Latina's 15th Birthday Celebration by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith, tells the story of a young girl watching a close cousin turn 15 and the family preparation for the quinceañera. It also gives information about a quinceañera and the traditions. The second book, The Fiesta Dress: A Quinceañera Tale by Caren McNelly McCormack is a story of the youngest child of a family watching her family get ready for her big sister's quinceañera. Feeling lonely from not getting the attention she is use to, the young girl lets the dog out of the laundry room where the parents locked him up. He runs off and steals the sash to her sister's gown. The young girl saves the day be getting the sash back and then gets attention from the whole family.  The third book, Quinceañera: Celebrating Fifteen by Elizabeth King, is a resource book that gives the details of the preparation and the fiesta. We did not spend much time with this book since it was long and not what Hazel would be most interested in. The next book we did not take out of the library due to my not liking Dora. The fifth book, Fiestas: A Year of Latin American Songs of Celebration by Jose-Luis Orozco, is a book of twelve songs and includes an adaptation of a traditional song to be for a quinceañera. The last book, El Barrio by Debbi Chocolate, tells the tale from a young boy's perspective of growing up in El Barrio or a Hispanic neighborhood in New York City. He talks about many of the celebrations, but several of the pages are spent on his sister's quinceañera fiesta.

Now it is time for the Multicultural Kid Blog Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop and Giveaway! You have just over a week to enter the giveaway!!

Welcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don't miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, "celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" (from

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win! Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play PadSmart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together - Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World Citizen 
A child's sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids.  
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi. 
Hola Hello - A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas - A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua Toys 
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian Guiro 
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.
Spanish ABC book from Libros Arellano.
Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto - Two children's books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children's songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta - CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.
Guatemala purse - Alarcon Restaurants 
Hand woven and leather Guatemala coin purse, a fun and vibrant gift. Given by - from their Gift Gallery in Antigua Real Restaurant, Mukwonago WI.
Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!
Las piñatas de Laly 
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.
a Rafflecopter giveaway Link Up Your Posts Now it's your turn to share your posts! The linky will be open through October 15, so come back and share throughout Hispanic Heritage Month!