The fiesta de quince años—or a girl’s fifteenth birthday party—has been a staple of Latin American culture for hundreds of years. Even so, misunderstandings about the tradition abound. These misunderstandings can make it difficult to know what to do and what to wear if you’ve been asked to be part of the event as a chambelan.
If you’re asking yourself, “What is a chambelan and what do they wear?” our guide is here to help.
Introduction To the Fiesta de Quince Años
Historically, a girl’s fifteenth birthday has marked their transition to womanhood. To mark this milestone, families have held a celebration called a fiesta de quince años (or the quinceañera, named for the girl being celebrated). The celebration traditionally consists of a mass and a large party comparable to a debutante ball in Western cultures.
While individual traditions vary, the fiesta portion of the quinceañeras often includes events such as:
- A dance between father and daughter
- A waltz and other choreographed dances
- The father of the quinceañera giving his daughter a last doll, marking the end of her childhood
- A celebratory toast
- A ceremony where a male relative changes the quinceañera’s flat shoes with a pair of high heels
The Role of the Chambelan
Another important tradition is for the quinceañera to choose a corte de honor (court of honor.) This group of friends is similar to a bride’s wedding party and includes several female friends called damas and male friends called chambelanes. One chambelan has the special privilege of being the chambelan de honor (escort of honor.)
Along with the typical chambelan duties—such as attending rehearsals and taking part in the night’s special dances—this chambelan will be the quinceañera’s personal escort throughout the evening. And since everyone will be looking at the quinceañera, that means the chambelan must look his best, too.
What To Wear as a Chambelan
The fiesta de quince años is a formal event almost like a wedding. So, chameblanes typically wear coordinating tuxedos or other formal wear. Often, they’ll add a detail to their outfit that references the quinceañera’s dress color—like a colorful tie or flower in their lapel.
The chambelan de honor may have an outfit that stands out from the other chambelanes, but it should still be coordinated. A few ways you might do this include
- Having him wear a vest while the rest of the chambelanes wear dress shirts
- Adding a special ornament in his lapel
- Giving him a different colored shirt or tie
- Having him wear a different shade of the same color as the other chambelanes
- Switching to a different type of tie
However you decide to dress your corte de honor, at Emanuele Tuxedo, we have a variety of quinceañera tuxedos for chambelanes to help celebrate your fiesta de quince años in style.