Alba Lugia’s prom-like gown was the highlight of her quinceañera tradition, but it wasn’t the only fancy dress featured in the celebration. Quinceañera custom calls for 14 damas, or maiden attendants, to accompany the quince girl and symbolize the past 14 years of her life. Then, each dama needs an escort, which means the quince girl must select 15 chambelans, or male attendants in suits or tuxedos.
Extensive preparation included lots of powder puffing… applying lipstick… Holding still… Buckets of hair gel… And patience while waiting for the quince girl…”Are you ready, yet?” he texts into the next room. “My aunt is helping me with the final touches,” she texts back. Awwww…she’s gorgeous…and so much pink! A beautiful smile... Let the procession begin!
Life is a party. In Nicaragua, the whole point of being alive is to have fun. Have a blast (literally)…whatever it takes. For Hispanic girls, the 15th birthday, or quinceañera, explains the party theory in preparing for the most lavish celebration of their lives. The quinceañera represents a young girl’s journey from childhood to maturity. It highlights God, family, food, friends, music, and dance. And the food….oh my, the food! It must have taken weeks of preparation.
The food preparations for Alba Lugia’s quinceañera included slaughtering a cow, a pig, and many chickens. When we arrived with our 20 gallons of Jamaica/Rum punch more than a dozen cooks in the outdoor kitchen were busy grating… chopping… boiling… marinating… peeling… plucking… and grilling. The preparations included painting their house pink, blowing up hundreds of pink and purple balloons, ordering hundreds of plastic chairs and tables, and installing giant speakers and disco lights. Ever’s professional cake-making mother baked a fancy, five-tiered cake in her adobe oven. All that remained was to wait for quince girl princess to arrive. Then, the party could begin. For what’s a party without a princess? The party theory in Nicaragua is alive and flourishing. Life is really a party in Nicaragua!