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Quinceanera Planet: The Northeast United States
Latin culture takes on a life all its own in the cities of the Northeast, where for over a century Latino men and women have come to make new lives for themselves in America. Mixing Caribbean and Latin American arts and music with American, the Latin communities in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and many more have a unique style and feel.
The Quinceanera is a special event, too, and a true example of the fusion of the two cultures the modern Latina girl represents. As Latino families have become more American in perspectives and points of view, the Quinceanera has become a more personal event, with individual styles largely shaping both the religious observance and the fiesta celebration.
Here's some food for thought as you plan your unique Quinceanera event:
Maintaining all the Quince traditions, including the changing of the shoes, the ultima muneca, and the tiara, are a great way to evoke your Latin heritage even while the rest of the Quinceanera celebration is fashionably modern. You might choose only some aspects to hearken back to your heritage (the first dance with your father is always touching) and you might chart a completely new course. It's up to you!
The Misa is a traditionally Catholic event, though many Latino families in the Northeast United States now practice other denominations. If you're not sure about attending the Thanksgiving Mass, you might plan a prayer meeting or special faith-based get together before the fiesta. This special event can include your parents, godparents, grandparents, and even your entire Quince court.
If you're planning to attend a Misa de Accion de Gracias, remember that many parishes only hold one mass a month, for all the Quince girls of the congregation. You'll need to make reservations early, at least several months in advance, if you want a private Mass. Or, you may simply invite the priest to say a special blessing for you and your family, and to say a prayer that you'll remain true to the Church and your community.
Northeast American fiestas can include a giant blowout bash or they could be a simple get together of close friends and family members. It's every Quince girl's choice, though you should reach an understanding with your parents about what sort of party to throw, and decide on a budget.
You probably have a wide range of venues to choose from for the fiesta, including some that may not have occurred to you. Besides church activity centers, there are private ballrooms, VFW halls, private dance clubs and social halls, and many more. You're really only limited to your budget.
As for music and entertainment, the Northeast lays claim to some of the most exciting Latin music in the world. Many world-famous dance styles, including the Mambo and the Salsa, got their first big break in New York. If you're looking for a little retro-hip flair that everyone can enjoy, programming a few songs for these dances would go a long, cool way.
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