Quinceañera is a celebration of a girl's fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in Latin American communities. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood. Latin myths and tradition tell about how girls were prepared for marriage by age fifteen or else they became nuns. In the years prior to their fifteenth birthdays, girls were taught to cook, weave, and about childbearing by the elder women in their communities in preparation for their expected lives as married women. The celebrations today vary significantly across countries; celebrations in some countries, for example, have taken on more religious overtones than in others.
In Brazil, a Portuguese-speaking country, the same celebration is called festa de debutantes, baile de debutantes or festa de quinze anos. In the French Caribbean and French Guiana, it is called fête des quinze ans. The grandest parties are comparable to the debutante balls formerly found in the United Kingdom and the United States. The quinceañera is celebrated according to their national traditions by many Latino communities in the United States. It also celebrated in some parts in Spain and Portugal.