Ain't no party like a birthday party....for your teen!

   I clearly remember my Sweet Sixteen birthday party. We held the party at Chicago State University, hired a DJ and professional photographer, all of my friends and family came, I even got a brand new sparkly dress to wear! 

While we know an big celebration is customary when a teen turns 16, I want to talk about two other cultures that also celebrate the rite of passage that is becoming a teenager! 
Quinceañera is culturally celebrated in the Hispanic community when a girl turns 15. This rite of passage is commemorated with a mass (if the teen is Catholic) and followed by an elaborate reception. 
It is common for a quince girl to wear a ball gown and tiara, which are meant to symbolize her femininity and and superior morality. Custom also calls for a " Court of Honor", which has 14 attendants to symbolize the past 14 years of her life, and 14 escorts to accompany them. 
One tradition that always takes place is a waltz performing by the birthday girl and her court, usually weeks or months in advance! 
The court performing a choreographed waltz

 A Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah are culturally celebrated in the Jewish community when a boy turns 13 and a girl turns 12, respectively.
This celebration also begins with a religious ceremony, although it is not required or needed to confer the rights and responsibilities the teen is charged with in their community.

The celebration continues with an elaborate party, which is held anywhere from a hotel ballroom to a yacht! Teens are becoming more and more creative with their party themes, choosing from their favorite color, sport, TV show, movie, etc.

Soccer themed Bar Mitzvah
Under the Sea themed Bat Mitzvah

Here's hoping this provided you a little inspiration for the special young person in your life,and the celebration to welcome them into the new phase of their life! 

xoxo,
Amber