Can you imagine teaching Spanish and cultural awareness to your kids through a party? Well, as crazy as it sounds, it is possible! You just have to create a party from a Spanish-speaking country.
The Spanish language is very popular around the world, and it keeps gaining speakers. That’s why it is important for your kids to learn it. But it is even more important because it helps them embrace other cultures. If they understand Hispanic cultures, they will be able to bond with foreign friends, be more empathetic, and understand the language better. The fun part is that they can do this through a party.
A quinceañera is also known as fiesta de quince años (fifteen years old party) or just los XV (quince) (the fifteenth). It is a traditional Mexican party for girls that are turning fifteen years old. But to the family it is more than a fun gathering; it’s the celebration of the girl becoming a woman. Because of that, there are special traditions, like a big dress or the last toy.
If you have a teen about to turn fifteen, this is your chance to give her a remarkable celebration. Everyone will learn something about the Spanish language and the culture. Keep reading for the essential on how to make a Quinceañera party
How to Learn with a Fiesta de Quince Años
The party is probably not going to be in Spanish unless you and your guests are fluent in the language. But there are some things you can do to help your children learn Spanish while at one of these parties.
Have your Daughter Help Plan the Party
If your daughter is the one that’s going to celebrate her fifteenth birthday, then she can help you plan everything. You can teach her some words in Spanish that have something to do with her future party. For example: when you go to choose her dress, you can tell her, Vamos a escoger tu vestido de quince años (Let’s go pick your fifteen-year-old dress). Or when you have to pick the song for The Vals, you can ask her: ¿Cuál canción quieres bailar en tu Vals? (Which song do you want to dance for your Vals?)
Include Spanish Words in the Invitations
If you want the guests to also learn something, you can include some Spanish words in the invitations. For example, you can write, “You’re invited to Carla’s quinceañera”. Or even a full sentence, like Estás cordialmente invitado a los quince años de Carla (You’re cordially invited to Carla’s fifteenth birthday).
Create a Spanish Playlist
Another way to learn through a party is to create a playlist with Spanish songs. They have to be your daughter’s favorite tracks because it’s her party. But if she doesn’t know many songs in Spanish, you can help her look up the best ones.
Toast in Spanish
During the toast, you can say your speech in both English and Spanish. It’ll be fun for everyone to hear a dual language toast!
How to Make a Quinceañera Party
There are some things, like the music or the location, that your child can easily choose according to their taste. But there are other things more traditional of a quinceañera; things and moments that make it different from other parties. Here are those essential things you need for a fiesta de quince años.
1: The Dress
The classic quinceañera dresses are very elaborate. The top seems like a corset, and the skirt is very big. They look like they’re based on dresses from another period or one a princess might wear. The girl has to choose the dress that she likes the most. They tend to pick the dresses based on their favorite color.
The first thing they do to celebrate los XV is to go to a mass. This is called misa de quince años (fifteen-year-old mass). But if you’re not Catholic or religious, you can skip this and go straight to the party.
3: The Entry of the Quinceañera
At the beginning of the party, the quinceañera makes a grand entry. She is at the top of some stairs, and she comes down gracefully. There’s a song in the background and everyone is looking at her. The most popular music choices for this moment are “Balada para Adelina” by Richard Clayderman or “Marcha triunfal de Aida” by Giuseppe Verdi.
4: The Vals
Right after the entry, the quinceañera and her father start dancing The Vals with her chambelanes. Chambelanes are usually the girl’s brothers, cousins, and friends; but they can also be professional dancers.
Then, the girl dances with her father, while the chambelanes stay around dancing slowly in their places. After a while, the godparents and other important guests can approach and also dance with her.
There are some common songs for The Vals of a fifteen-year-old party. Some of the classic songs played for The Vals are: “El Danubio Azul”, “Cuento de los bosques de Viena”, “Sangre Vienesa”, “Vino, mujeres y canto” all by Johan Strauss, or “Sobre las olas” by Juventino Rosas.
Nowadays, it’s also common to hear some modern songs for The Vals, like “Tiempo de Vals” by Chayanne or “Quinceañera” by Thalía.
5: The Last Toy and First Heels
At this moment of the party, the girl receives her “last toy” and her first heels. This is a symbol of the quinceañera leaving childhood and entering womanhood. There are godparents of the last toy and first heels, who will be the ones to give her these things.
Of course, throughout the party, the guests can get up and dance to the music. But this is another special dance, where the quinceañera dances with her chambelanes. Except for this time, it doesn’t have to be a Vals, she can choose any genre and any song she likes. They dance to a choreography that they prepared in advance.
7. The Toast
After a while, usually before dinner, the father will give a toast. He’ll thank the guests and will dedicate some words to his daughter.
Spanish Words Your Kids Will Learn Thanks to the Fiesta de Quince Años
Here are some traditional words in Spanish from a quinceañera party that you can teach to your kids. Maybe even the guests will learn them just by being immersed in this Hispanic festivity!
- Misa – Mass
- Fiesta – Party
- Felices quince – Happy fifteenth
- Quince años – Fifteen years
- Fiesta de quince años – Fifteen-year-old party
- Vestido – Dress
- Baile – Dance
- Vals – Father-daughter dance
- Entrada – Entry
- Juguete – Toy
- Zapatillas de tacón / tacones – Heels
- Padrino – Godfather
- Madrina – Godmother
- Padrinos – Godparents
- Invitados – Guests
- Brindis – Toast
How to Keep Learning Spanish
With a quinceañera your kids will learn some words and phrases in Spanish. But the best thing your kids will get from it will be cultural sensitivity. They’ll learn about some traditions from Spanish-speaking people by experiencing it. And by being immersed, they’ll not only learn about it but will appreciate Spanish countries and their cultures too.
Another way to keep learning Spanish and getting to know the cultures is with TruFluency Kids Spanish immersion classes. We have native teachers so your children will learn useful everyday vocabulary, hear the correct pronunciation, and learn about daily life in Spanish-speaking countries.
But not only that, our lessons are based on the Bellieu Method, which focuses on language fluency. This means that kids will speak in all of our classes. That’s the only way they can practice and improve their conversation skills. We want children to be able to speak in real-life situations.
We know that kids have a lot of energy and, therefore, are better at learning through fun activities. That’s why they’ll play games, sing, dance, make crafts, and even cook in our Spanish classes. There will be zero boring moments. And everything will be in Spanish.
Check out our testimonials to see how amazing our classes are.
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