In some societies, a girl celebrates her entry into womanhood by emerging like a butterfly from a 'cocoon'' of leaves that friends and relatives have covered her in. In the U.S., that passage is more likely to be celebrated with a 'Sweet 16'' birthday party. Sweet 16 parties were very popular during the 1950s and '60s, at which young girls invited their friends, who had cake, danced, and went home. Today, customs are different, and these parties have taken on a new, more elaborate look. Many parties have themes that include the interests of the young woman who's celebrating. The parties may have a DJ (d-j) to provide entertainment or a band. Party favors are generally given out; the room is decorated vividly, and there are many different activities. If you're planning a Sweet 16 party, the first task is make an invitation list and find a place that holds the appropriate number of guests. If you're planning a large affair, you may wish to hire a caterer, especially if one doesn't come with your party room, or even a professional party planner. You'll then need to hire a DJ or choose the music, decide on the theme, pick out invitations, and come up with decorations and party favors. The party doesn't necessarily have to be a fancy affair; you can include just a few friends and family. For decorations, head for a party supply house for 'Sweet 16' themed cups, plates, napkins, and banners. Don't forget thank-you notes.