This is a tradition that represent the coming of age for Hispanic Woman, her 15th birthday (XV Años) It is like a debutante ball when the girl gets to get all dresses up and the family has a huge party that begins with a mass and then a party with family and friends in attendance. It is almost like a wedding without an official groom. The reason I mention this, is because on 4th street alone has to be one the most places I have seen so many shops that cater to this. If you are looking for a wedding, prom, and a Quinceanera dress, this is where you should look. It was totally amazing. We approached while walking down the street by so many with business cards of shops owners. I will say many of dresses on display were simply beautiful.
The tradition of the quinceanera comes from ancient Mexican society. The origin of the quinceanera can be traced back to the Aztecs about 500 B.C.
Purpose: Fifteen was the age at which boys became warriors and girls were also presented to the community because they were looked upon as the vital force of the tribe and its future since they had the power to become mothers and to give future warriors to the tribe. The fifteen-year old Aztec girl was exhorted and instructed by the King in the duties of womanhood, and the funeral honors for an Aztec woman who died in childbirth were the some as those for a warrior who fell in battle.
In Mexican society, the quinceanera evolved into a rite of social initiation intended to teach and to reinforce important cultural values. In modern times a quinceanera is celebrated to acknowledge a young maiden's passage into womanhood. The ceremony is a reaffirmation of the baptismal vows made by her parents. http://www.sanbenito.k12.tx.us/schools/BertaCabaza/HSSB/Language_Arts/Quin_History.html
What to pay: At one time these dresses were really expensive, but now since there are so many other shops and specialist who cater to this event, that these dresses and suits are much less. So shop around.
Address: 4th Street & Main Street
Directions: Historic downtown area!
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South Coast Plaza may well be the ultimate California shopping mall experience. In all it is one of the largest shopping centers in the world. It's also the most profitable mall in the country (with nearly $1 billion in sales), and it attracts more shoppers than any other mall in America - over 20 million a year. Some tour groups from Japan plan their entire vacation trips around a visit to South Coast Plaza.
It is not simply a shopping mall. Rather, South Coast Plaza is a vast shopping, dining, & entertainment complex, featuring two separate enclosed malls, and several distinctive outdoor areas. It sprawls over a vast property which includes luxury hotels, dozens of restaurants, banks, fountains, art gardens and theatres. It's virtually a small city in its own right.
What to buy: If you have money to spend why not spend it here at any of the stores in The western wing, the "Jewel Court" between Nordstrom & Saks Fifth Avenue is a virtual indoor Rodeo Drive, containing such exclusive stores as Gucci, Versace. Georgio Armani, Sax Fifth Avenue, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Tiffany, Hermès, Fred, Fendi, Emporio Armani, Yves Saint Laurent, Van Cleef & Arpels, Jimmy Choo, Bottega Veneta, Donna Karen New York, Sergio Rossi, Louis Vuitton, Celine and Cartier.
What to pay: Lots of it $$$$$$$ mucho dinero, muco bucks.
Address: 3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA
Directions: Bristol at the 405 Freeway in Costa Mesa