The quinceañera celebration of a girl's 15th birthday dates back to the ancient Mexican Aztecs, who held a festival for a girl when she became an adult. At the festival, the girl received her wedding dowry and instructions on becoming a responsible woman.
The ancient festival changed during the centuries in which the Spanish and French occupied Mexico. Both cultures had a tradition of presenting marriage-age girls to society at a formal party. Mexican residents combined the traditions, and the party evolved into its current form. In 2014, quinceañeras are thrown in a number of Latin American countries. The specifics of the celebrations vary by region, though most typically include some version of both a large party and a religious ceremony.