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The exact origin of this religious-festive tradition is unknown.   Most scholars believe the Quinceañera began over five hundred years ago and it is linked to the ritual communal traditions of the Aztecs, Mayans and Toltecs.  It is a "rite of passage," a ritual of transition from one phase of life to another, a different phase, normally one of more maturity.  

Throughout history, several cultures initiated young males into manhood by sending them to remote places in the villages or to impenetrable jungles, where they had to live for some  time; once the time set concluded, they returned to the tribe, and were invested as warriors and recognized as mature males, apt to start a family.

As time went by, somebody determined that girls also reached a moment in their lives when they stopped being girls and became mothers, and therefore it was opportune to institute a ritual to acknowledge such phase in life.  That is how this ritual for young women began.  When a girl reached a certain age, her parents gave thanks to God for the gift of life expressed in their daughter, and asked for help so that she, could give life.

The Quinceañera service at All Souls is held in the church and includes hymns, Confession of Sins, readings from the Bible, Renewal of Baptismal vows, and presentation of several special gifts to the young women by members of her extended family.  The religious ceremony is normally followed by a party outside the church with food, music, and dancing.  Parents interested in the Quinceañera for their daughter should call the church office at least two months in advance (631-751-0034).  This special service is usually held on Saturdays.

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