Sweet sixteen (birthday)
A sweet sixteen is a coming of age party celebrating a teenager's 16th birthday, mainly celebrated in the United States and Canada. Similar celebrations are found in different cultures around the world, such as the quinceañera in Hispanic countries and the festa de debutantes in Brazil, both at 15 years of age. This event can be formal, casual, or semi-formal.
Although it is common that sweet sixteens are mostly celebrated by girls, they can also be celebrated by boys. Sweet sixteens can range from modest parties at home with close family to large affairs with a hired DJ, makeup, hair styling, expensive gowns and dresses, and hotel ballrooms. Even if it is a small party, the main purpose of the party is to celebrate the person becoming "older" and entering a different stage of their life.
In countries such as the UK, Australia and New Zealand, the 16th birthday is eclipsed by a teenager's 18th birthday celebration, the age at which young people become adults and are allowed to vote.
Alternative sweet sixteen celebrations in the United States can include a religious or church ceremony also, like a Mass or a blessing at church. This religious or church ceremony has its origins in the Quinceañera style, but since there are many American-born Hispanics, then what has happened is that Hispanic Americans choose to blend a sweet sixteen American style with their Quinceañera tradition. For example, the girl may go to the church for the religious ceremony and, then, while in the party, choose to have the sixteen-candle ceremony. The religious ceremony comes from the hispanic tradition, while the sixteen candles ceremony comes from the American tradition. It is fine to mix traditions from two or more cultures into one sweet sixteen celebration.
- "What is Sweet Sixteen and How to celebrate it?". Jcer. 2017-09-15. Retrieved 2018-12-07.