Oftentimes, the modern Latino family asks their children if they’d prefer a quinceañera or an international trip when they’re approaching their fifteenth birthday. Though the costs of a trip to Europe may sound like a lot at first, you’d be surprised to know it could actually be less expensive than the actual party.
Did you know that the average quinceañeras cost about $20,000?
Shocking, we know.
Back in my day, my quinceañera cost my family an estimated $10,000 – and learning this so many years down the road was a complete WTF moment to me. Why on Earth would we spend so much money on one night?
For us Latinos, it’s not just about a one-night celebration; it’s a festivity to reunite the family and make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
A price and an industry
Nowadays, quinceañeras, like the popular Sweet 16 American celebrations, are a driving force in the economy. The more lavish, the better, in many POVs. In fact, Texas Monthly reported that globally, the Quinces business is a $49 billion industry. In social media culture, on TikTok, the hashtag “quince” has over 5.5 billion views, making it clear that it’s a trending topic among coming-of-age people.
With this in mind, it’s no wonder we still see local quince-related shops surviving today and major companies like Disney jumping on the bandwagon. On Disneyland’s official website, they sell their quinceañera package as “a party fit for a princess.”
What’s more, this extravagant celebration means more to the average Latino family.
“[This pushes] back on the public narrative that assumes that Latinos are working- or under-class,” a professor of Mexican American and Latina/o studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of “Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Identities,” told Texas Monthly. “Latino consumption and Latino social success are on display.”’
A tradition destined to change
Personally, my quince was worth it for the memories. However, I wasn’t given the option to travel. Now that I’m in my 30’s, if I were to have a child that wanted to celebrate their 15th year, I’d definitely ask what they’d prefer.
At the end of the day, it’s what your child would enjoy the most that will go down as one of their fondest memories.