Dress shop catering to Quinceañera (One (f.) who is fifteen), girl's coming out party celebrated on her 15th birthday. The dresses in foreground are for younger girls, but I have not found out what that special occasion is.
In Mexico, the birthday girl, known as the Quinceañera, is made-up with elegant makeup. Traditionally, this would be the first time she was to wear makeup, however this is usually no longer the case. The Quinceañera is also expected to wear a formal evening dress. Traditionally, the dress worn by the Quinceañera to this event is an evening ball gown.
In the Mexican tradition - considering the teenager is Catholic - the Quinceañera celebration begins with a Thanksgiving mass. For this mass, the teenager wears a formal dress. Conventionally, the Quinceañera wore a pink dress to symbolize her purity; however, in recent decades, white has become the preferred color (carey.... they seem to have strayed from the colour theme). If the Quinceañera chooses, she may wear a white dress with personalized touches, including embroidery, pearls, sequins, or any other adjustment that would best reflect her sense of fashion. She arrives to the celebration accompanied by her parents, godparents, and court of honor. The court of honor is a court of her chosen peers made up of paired off girls and boys, respectively known as "damas" and "chambelanes." Typically, there are fourteen or seven pairs "damas" and "chambelanes," which each literally translate to dames and chamberlains. At this religious mass, a rosary, or sometimes a necklace with a locket or pendant depicting the image of Mexico's patron saint the Virgin of Guadalupe, is awarded to the teenager by her godparents, such necklace having been previously blessed by the church clergy. She is also awarded a tiara. The symbolism behind the tiara is to serve as a reminder that to her loved ones, especially her immediate family, the Quinceañera will always be a princess, however some also see it as denoting she is a "princess" before God and the world. After this, the girl may leave her bouquet of flowers on the altar for the Virgin Mary.
After the Thanksgiving mass, guests gather for a reception where the remaining celebratory events meant to honor the Quinceañera will take place, including the rendering of gifts. This reception may be held at the Quinceañera's home, at an events room, such as a dining hall, banquet hall, or casino, or in some cases publicly held, similar to a block party. During the reception, the birthday girl usually dances a traditional waltz with her "Chambelan de Honor," which is her chosen escort, and her court of honor. Many times this section of the celebration is previously practiced and/or choreographed, oftentimes weeks in advance, sometimes even with months of anticipation. The basic reception generally consists of six major parts, with dances taking place while a traditional Mexican entree meal is served:
The formal entry - A grand entrance by the Quinceañera made once most guests have been seated.
The formal toast - An optional but usual part of the reception generally initiated by the parents or godparents of the birthday girl.
The first dance - Usually a waltz where the girl dances starting with her father.
The family dance - Usually a waltz involving just the immediate relatives, the "chambelanes", the godparents, and the closest friends of the girl.
The preferred song - Any modern song particularly preferred by the Quinceañera is played and danced.
The general dance - Also usually a waltz, where everyone dances to a musical waltz tune.
Traditionally, Mexican girls could not dance in public until they turned fifteen, except at school dances or at family events. Therefore, the Quincenera's waltz with the chamberlanes is the girl's first public dance ever.
Some families may choose to add ceremonial components to the celebration, depending on local customs, such as the ceremony of the Change of Shoes, in which a family member slips the Quinceañera with her first high heel shoes; the Crowning ceremony, in which a close relative vests her with a crown on her head, and "Ceremonia de la Ultima Muñeca" (the Ceremony of the Last Doll), during which her father presents her with a doll usually wearing a similar dress as the Quinceañera herself. ( carey... also available in the dress shop). The Ceremony of the Last Doll is based on a Maya tradition and it is related to the birthday girl's receipt and renouncement of the doll as she grows into womanhood. Likewise, the ceremony of the change of shoes symbolizes the girl's passage into maturity.
Once all symbolic gestures have taken place, the dinner is commenced. At this point, the celebration reaches its high point: contracted musical groups begin playing music, keeping the guests entertained. The music is played while the guests dine, chat, mingle, and dance.
The next morning the family and closest friends may also attend a special breakfast, especially if they are staying with the family. Sometimes what is known as a recalentado (re-warming) takes place, in which any food not consumed during the event of the night before is warmed again, for a brunch type event.