Fiesta Latina vs. Fiesta Gringa

It’s birthday party season again and one of the more popular posts on Latinaish is Latino vs. Anglo Birthday Party. A Spanish version of this post was even published in the June/July 2010 issue of SerPadres Magazine after being discovered on Tiki Tiki Blog. So here it is for those of you who are new here or who might have missed it!

The Differences Between an Anglo Kid’s Birthday Party and a Latino Kid’s Birthday Party

#1. Who gets to come?

Anglo – Those whose names are written on the invitation.

Latino – Those whose names are written on the invitation, plus their uncles, cousins, and sometimes random neighbors who had nothing better to do that day.

#2. What time should we come?

Anglo – The time is right there on the invitation.

Latino – An hour late, or else the hosts won’t be ready when you arrive.

#3. Food Etiquette

Anglo – Eat only what is given to you. Don’t ask for seconds even if you’re really hungry.

Latino – Eat as much as you want and then ask for plates to take home leftovers for eating later or to bring to family members who didn’t feel like coming.

#4. Singing, dancing, music

Anglo – The only music heard is when the kids sing “Happy Birthday” at cake time. Dancing is rare, but when it happens, it is usually the “Hokey Pokey”.

Latino – WHAT?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD! … Adults dance Perreo in front of the kids, no importa.

#5. Alcohol?

Anglo – Of course not! What’s wrong with you?! It’s a CHILDREN’S birthday party!

Latino- Claro que sí! … The cerveza is there in the cooler, hermano!

#6. Entertainment

Anglo – A strict schedule of organized activities and games for the children.

Latino – Niños, go play in the street or something. Stop bothering the grown ups! We’ll do the piñata later! Híjole!

#7. What’re we eating?

Anglo – Probably pizza.

Latino – Steak, chicken, rice, beans, salad, tortillas, etc. Load your styrofoam plate up until it’s ready to crack under the weight.

#8. When does the party end?

Anglo – Refer to your invitation. Thank your hosts and excuse yourself on the dot. Clear out!

Latino – Party until everyone’s tired and/or Tío Eduardo passes out on the couch while watching a fútbol game.


Credit: Images by Eric Peacock and Paul Kelly used to create graphic.


  1. JAJAJAJAJA!!! Casi escupo mi tecito amiga!!! This is awesome! Como siempre, you speak the truth in the most amusing way. :D
    I´m hoping my kid´s bday parties will be a nice mix of these two styles. ;)
    Un abrazote!!! Y que comience la fiesta!!!

  2. LOL! Damn funny and sooooo true!!! LOVE it! I remember one time I had a mother drop off her daughter for my daughters birthday. I was in SHOCK! I invited everyone not just kids ;) I had enough comida for kids and parents. She looked at me like I was a loca when I invited her inside to have a cerveza.

  3. Spot on Tracy!!! This is my life. Has been a learning experience for me!!! My son’s first birthday party I told people to come at noon thinking they would come at two and they showed up at six. This past birthday party for him, we tried a new idea. We made our own invitations on the computer, just with a normal word-processor using colored font. He picked out a free clip art from the internet to have on it & we put a little photo of him on there — you know, something else about the Spanish-speaking side of the family is that not everybody knows everybody’s ACTUAL name :-) … We didn’t try to get mailing addresses for the Spanish-speaking side, instead we just dropped them off at people’s houses, or their sister’s house or whatever. There were 2 just slightly different versions of the invitation, one in English and one in Spanish. We included a little bit of instruction for example: explaining for the English-speakers that dinner would be provided, and make the end time “until ?” so they hopefully get the idea not to drop their kid and run off like cheap babysitting… For the Spanish-speakers I think by putting a start time on an actual paper printed invitation it really worked because most people were actually there pretty close to the start time we put. Plus it helped that I had decided to just assume about 30% more people would show up that I never met before — but as my older daughter commented, everybody we didn’t actually invite, they showed up with extra cokes and beer (one family who got there really kind of late, they brought extra ice for the cooler just when it was about to be totally melted! very thoughtful). I also had decided to ask my husband’s cousin and my sister-in-law to help make the food, which was great because they naturally wanted to make the kind of stuff that just stays simmering on the stove until whenever people want it, and they showed up early in the day with their kids and husbands ready to help set up too! Being in Houston in June, we had bought a blow-up pool and a slippy-slide, and passed out cheap squirt guns, instead of renting a bounce house, which was actually cheaper, and the kids loved it. Bonus: by putting on the Spanish invitation that the kids traigan ropa para jugar en el agua, it turned out we did not have a collection of little fashionistas and constantly their moms saying “no te ensucies” (the moms still all looked fabulous, of course). Next time one thing I will do differently is I will hide my good tupperware and put out the 99-cent-store containers on the counter. But it turned out as a pretty nice little party, if I do say so myself

  4. Bwaa ha ha ha ha ha! Just celebrated my son’s first bday this past weekend, the party “started” at 2pm, half the guests didn’t arrive until 5 and they didn’t leave until almost 11pm when we ran out of rum for mojitos!

  5. Lol! My husband (Mexicano) and I were laughing so hard while reading this. Could not have summed it up better myself! I have seen many a drunk uncles passed out at childrens parties in Mexico, and you are dead right about the music too. “Que? Como? No te oigo!”

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