How the homecoming mum came to be?


Ariana ramirez

Arianna’s mum from homecoming 2019

Mums. Those fake white flowers surrounded by ribbons, bells, and trinkets traditionally in the school’s color. They are commonly worn on the day of homecoming and to the game around the neck or pinned to the front of the shirt.

To say that homecoming is big in Texas is an understatement But the history is never explained in all the festivities. So, what is history when it comes to mums and homecoming?

The Homecoming mum tradition first began in Missouri. As the legend goes, there was a boy who had given his date a chrysanthemum when asking her to dance. It was rumored that the chrysanthemum had ribbons tied to it as well.

Chrysanthemums are light flowers and can’t hold the weight of large amounts of ribbons, and they would also wilt and die after a short period of time. This led to companies marketing the chrysanthemums and starting to make silk ones that could hold up and wouldn’t wilt after a day or so. This is how mums came to be, with the name mum being a shortened version of chrysanthemum.

Personalization of mums didn’t start until the 90s with school colors and names added to the ribbons. Mums only grew from there, with different lengths of ribbon and with the sizes of flowers on the mum. Decorations can also be added like lights, bears, bells and many other trinkets to make it more personalized and unique.

Now mums can range in size, with senior mums often being the largest. Shapes can consist of a single or double flower, to the shape of Texas. The mums themselves are often white but can be any color the buyer/maker wants it to be.

While the mum might have started as a way of asking someone on a date, that meaning has grown both figuratively and literally and regardless of the history, the tradition still lives on.