The dark past of the 15-year celebration

In our culture it is very common to celebrate the 15th birthday of our daughters, one of the most important steps of any woman, however this tradition began as a cruel punishment, discover how this tradition was born.

It all started in the ancient pre-Columbian indigenous civilizations Aztec and Mayan. When the women fulfilled 15 years it was time to say goodbye to his family; they had no choice. They sent them to Telpochcallischool where »prepared» to the daughters of nobles for marriage.

As soon as they set foot in the Telpochcalli, the beauty of life ended. The lessons began at dawn, taking a bath in the frozen lagoon. Their food was restricted, as they had to look »beautiful». If someone did not comply with an order, they were punished with maguey spikes. They swept at night, or put them in a shack filled with smoke from burning chiles, which practically closed their throats and made them fall to the ground and almost die from lack of oxygen.

They should not have contact with any man, because the ritual of 15 years it meant that they were pure and worthy for marriage. When their teachers considered that they were ready, they would hold a celebration attended by all the surrounding villagers. Men who had already passed through the discipline of the Calmécac and they were considered warriors, they could be chosen by the family of the quinceañeras to join in marriage.

But the opinion of the young women had no validity. Families decided with whom to create ties, and the more economically powerful the young man was, the more sought after he was. That is to say, the XV years were a simple sale and purchase agreement. The tastes, desires and emotions of the daughter did not matter. The last word of her had her father.

With the arrival of the Spaniards, customs changed and acquired the principles of the Catholic religion, which tried to put an end to this tradition, but the indigenous people did not accept it.

In the century XIX Maximilian and his wife Carlota they appropriated the tradition, adding to it the glamorous dresses worn by upper-class women and the waltz.

At the end of the day, all those women who were given to men who did not want -many of them murdered by their husbands and others mistreated until the last day of their lives- they don’t matter In the XXI century this tradition continues to be one of the most important in the life of a woman, without having an idea of ​​the reality behind it.

Taken from Mauili