This month we will be exploring Guatemala and talking about all kinds of celebrations that happen there and throughout the Spanish speaking world. We'll learn that some celebrations are pretty similar to celebrations we have experienced in the United States and some are very different! We're learning about the flag of Guatemala and the importance of the "quetzal"- a bird with a very long tail symbolized on the flag.
This week, we'll be talking about the celebration of a girl's 15th birthday ("Quinceañera"). Throughout Latin America, it was common practice for a girl to be ready for marriage when she turned 15, so an enormous party was held to "show off" the girl. Traditionally, the girl wears a large gown, learns to dance a waltz, has a "court" of 15 boys and 15 girls, and has a giant cake like a wedding cake. Other important parts of a Quinceañera ceremony include the father giving his daughter her first pair of high heeled shoes and the mother putting lipstick on her daughter for the first time. The girl also receives her last doll which usually is wearing the same dress the birthday girl wears for her party. We talked about how the Quinceañera celebration does not really present a girl for marriage anymore, but that the tradition of throwing a huge party for 15 year old girls has stuck. We even watched a video of a Quinceañera party from right here in Providence!
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!