Sunday, October 13, 2013

XV Años in Maltrata

Last weekend Edson and I went went to Maltrata for a XV Años, or 15th birthday celebration.

A XV Años is a BIG celebration -- a bit like a "Sweet 16" in the US in that it's an extra special birthday, but I'd say generally more important and symbolic. It's almost always for females and marks their transition from girl to woman. The quinceañera (girl celebrating her XV años) tends to wear a princess-style ball gown (think fitted top and big poofy bottom). The celebration usually includes a Catholic mass to give thanks and later a party with dinner, dancing, and some symbolic traditions.

view of  Maltrata from the bus on the highway
This XV Años was a bit different than most because it was for Roy. His father shared at the party that when Roy was born the nurse said he wasn't expected to live more than 2 or 3 months. Later they said he'd never walk or talk. He's defied those odds and is an active young man full of life. This XV Años was truly a celebration, as much for his parents, family, and friends as it was for Roy.

Roy dressed up as a charro, or Mexican horseman, and rode a horse from his house to the church for mass.
on his way to the church
in his Charro suit
There was mass at the church to give thanks.

Mariachis accompanied Roy and his family and friends from the church to his house for the party.

leaving the church to mariachi music
leaving the church to mariachi music
procession through the streets on the way to the party
procession through the streets on the way to the party
Roy singing along with the mariachis 
The theme of the party was charros and horses, including these awesome centerpieces.

table centerpieces 
I got to hang out with my two little buddies, who were looking sharp in their suits (though I only have photos with one since the photos of little-er buddy seem to have disappeared).

We ate, and drank, and were merry, though I have no photos of our meal.

Again, how awesome is Roy's charro suit?

We did the vals ("waltz," though probably not how you would imagine), in which the females "danced" in a circle while Roy's female family and friends took turns dancing with him in the center.

dancing with Roy

We also did the "baile del guajolote" or "turkey dance," which is typical at many of the celebrations in Maltrata. Baskets are prepared as gifts for the padrinos ("godparent" or "sponsor", depending on the occasion). They include a turkey (or two), whose head sticks up out of the basket, secured between dowel rods decorated with tissue paper, as well as food (such as tortillas and mole) and even drink (like tequila) inside the basket. At this party there were 3 baskets for the 3 padrinos, each with a turkey decorated with "sombrero" and cigarette in it's mouth, concha bread on the outside of the wrapped-up basket, and items I didn't see or ask about inside the basket.

2 of the 3 guajolote baskets

There is a certain song always used for the baile del guajolote. The men dance with the (heavy!) baskets, taking turns, and the women dance with incense, flowers, or bottles of alcohol. However, I've also been to several events -- this one included -- where after the men have danced for a bit there's a call for the women to dance with the guajolote.

men dancing with the turkey baskets
Here's a video of the baile del guajolote from Roy's XV Años. This was Edson's first time doing the baile del guajolote so everyone wanted to make sure he danced, and yours truly danced with the guajolote as well (though I'm practically an expert at this point - hah!) 

Roy and hisfamily
the cake
Roy dancing with his aunt
my little buddies hanging out
Later on a band played and there was lots of dancing.

Roy singing along 
And later in the evening Roy opened his mountain of presents. 

Roy opening presents 
It was a very special and fun celebration and another great visit to Maltrata!

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