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Pronounced “keen-see-nyair-ah.” A Hispanic celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday, signifying her transition from youth to adulthood. This is both a social and religious event and, like many other Hispanic traditions, emphasizes the importance of family. A quinceañera typically begins with a mass that is attended by the girl’s parents, grandparents, godparents and family. The mass is followed by a reception with food, family, music, dancing and more. In past times, the quinceañera signified that a girl was prepared for marriage. In contemporary times, it tends to mean that a girl is ready to begin formal dating. Some families will throw a quinceañera for a son.