Sweet 16

The Fem-Bot, aged 10, asked me today why girls have Sweet 16 parties.

Anyone know why this happens? Where it was started? I’ve got 6 years to plan one…


I didn’t have one, nor did my kid, so I guess I’m not much help. I’d always thought it was a coming-of-age sorta thing - no longer a little girl, not quite but almost an adult. My quest for enlightenment about this topic hasn’t provided anything tho…

Here’s a little something I found but it really doesn’t address the origins of this practice. I saw one reference to the coming-of-age idea.

Sheesh, isn’t it enough to be able to drive at 16?? <deep, exhausted sigh of the mother of a 16 y/o>

Basically, its a U.S. version of the puberty ceremony common in many societies (though 16 is pretty late for such things). In Latin American cultures, it’s a girl’s fifteenth birthday that is celebrated, the quincena.

Isn’t it related to the idea of “coming out” – in other words a public display of a girl now physically mature and an invitation to suitors?