A Sweet 16 is a coming of age party celebrating a teenager’s 16th birthday in North America, primarily in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada[. A sweet sixteen is similar to a quinceañera. Like a wedding, 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 major dance band or 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. Usually this is the last big birthday party a teenager would have.