How to Throw a Quinceañero

A Quinceañero (spelled with an "o") is a party celebrating the fact that a boy is turning into a man. Hispanic girls have long celebrated their 15th birthday in this way. So, why not allow the boys to share in this Hispanic tradition? Fifteen-year-old boys are now beginning to embrace the male version of this celebration. It is a testament to their faith, shared with pride by their friends and family.

Plan the Quinceañero

Start your plans early, at least 6 months before the birthday. Once you have gotten the OK from your son to throw this party, your plans will continue until that special day of Latino heritage celebration. Let him have some say in the final event. It reflects his values and interests while allowing him to embrace his heritage and welcome the responsibilities of manhood.

Ask for donations or sponsorships from friends and family if you feel comfortable doing so. This is not an uncommon practice for the female version, so why not? The more people you know or are inviting, the more possibilities you have for getting backers.

Remember that other generations are excited and proud of your child. They want to be a part of his special day. Invite every family member you think of. Everyone will love to commemorate your young man moving into adulthood.

Make him the center of attention and put his ideas into force. Think about traditional customs that are common in your area and encourage him to put them into action. Rent a tuxedo and make him king for a day. Familiar traditions include festivities that last all weekend, a church service and a dance or all-night party.

Finalize the Quinceañero

Consider his favorite foods and work them into the festivities. You will want to have a wonderful meal with plenty of party-style foods at the actual Quinceañero. Prepare a barbecue the day before the big event. This can be a pre-celebration extending the festivities over an entire weekend.

Allow your son to choose up to 14 of his best friends or relatives near his age if you want to have couples dance the waltz in unison. This is a time-honored tradition when throwing a Quinceañero. Each of these young men will have an escort that they have chosen as their dance partner.

Watch with pride as the young people put together their waltz number. They will make a good show and everyone will realize the hard work that has gone into it. Perform the duties of any good party planner and you will have this traditional element taken care of smoothly. Just remember to keep the birthday boy in the loop--after all, he will always remember this. Most teens actually enjoy this party more than their prom.

Take lots of pictures or have everyone else do it (consider having a disposable camera for every guest). This is a great opportunity for your son to realize the closeness he has with his friends, celebrate his faith and face the future with a better understanding. He will always appreciate the trouble you have gone to.