Serendipity of The Quinceañera
4 Dec 2012
Quinceañera (lit. meaning One (f.) who is fifteen), sometimes called fiesta de quince años, fiesta de Quinceañera, quince años or simply quince, is the celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday in parts of the Hispanic world and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from girl to woman. The celebration, however, varies significantly across countries, with celebrations in some countries taking on, for example, more religious overtones than in others. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
My city of Houston is home to many Hispanic people. The Quince is celebrated with a large party including 100 and more friends and extended family. There is a lot of food, a fancy tiered cake and dance music. Girls often have a "court" of girls and boys like attendants in a traditional wedding party. Everyone is dressed formally, tuxes for boys, while birthday girls choose ornate, poufy prom dresses in a rainbow of hues. Hot pink is a favorite. She often wears a tiara and carries a silk flower bouquet matching her gown.
One location is favored by most Quinceañeras as a backdrop for their formal portraits; it is Houston's "Central Park," Hermann Park. On the Park's border are a couple of spots with pillars, two fountains and a wrought iron gazebo. Some years ago I noticed large parties of formally dressed people posing when I went for a walk in the Park. Since I usually carried my camera, it seemed natural to stop and ask if I could photograph the lovely Quinceañeras. Whether the girl is a stunning beauty or plain, 99 % of the girls and families are delighted I want to document them. What wonderful serendipity! Now I stop every chance I get.