American Coming of Age Tradition: Sweet 16
Sweet 16 like Quinceaneras is the celebration of a young lady’s transition or journey from childhood to womanhood. It is the milestone, that symbolizes the coming of age in North America and Canada.
The celebration can range from at home parties to large affairs focusing on God, family, friends, traditions, food and music.
While less rooted in tradition, the 16th birthday is nonetheless an important one for American youth, as it marks the time when they are legally permitted to drive a car.
For some lucky teens the day is celebrated with an over-the-top party and potentially a new car, as documented on the the MTV show My Super Sweet 16.
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.