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 and marry.