March 8th is the International Women’s Day, the day dedicated to the social, political and economic achievements of women. The day is celebrated in many countries around the world and, from country to country, finds different customs. It’s good use and custom, for men, to pay homage to women with floral cadeaux or other gifts, such as the famous bouquet of mimosa, which is given as a gift in Italy.
Mimosa for Women’s Day: an Italian gift
L‘8 March is the date of Women’s Day: a celebration born to honor women that is celebrated in most modern and civilized countries. During the day of the8 Marzo It is common custom to organize small celebrations in honor of women but also awareness days on the most burning issues raised by feminist movements. It is also common custom to give a bouquet of mimosas to women, but what many do not know is that the latter is an exclusively Italian custom.
8 March: International Women’s Day
L’8 March si celebra in Italy since 1922. It is a day aimed at the celebration of women and that wants to remember all the social, economic and political achievements obtained by the protest movements over the years, but also sensitize the community on salient topics such as gender discrimination. It is often shortened to “Women’s Day” and meets a number of different customs, from country to country. In Italy it is customary, for example, to give bunches of mimosa , and celebrate the day by bringing to the table the “Mimosa cake“, a dessert inspired by the flower of the same name.
Why the mimosa?
Returning to the link between mimosa and Women’s Day, let’s try to explain why this custom and why the mimosa as the chosen flower. That of giving flowers to women during “their day” is a common custom, but it is only in Italy that women are honored with the yellow and fragrant mimosa. The mimosa was chosen as a symbol by Teresa Mattei, one of the leading exponents of Italian feminism.
Women’s Day, at least until the 1970s, was a predominantly Left-wing holiday. That’s why all over Europe it was decided to pay homage to women with violet flowers. The violet was however a flower almost unavailable in Italy and also very expensive: it could not be purchased by anyone. The mimosa, instead, bloomed at the end of winter and could be collected freely in the fields, as it was omnipresent especially in the wild woods.
The mimosa: where and when it grows?
La mimosa is a very special flower with an unusual appearance. It grows on trees and blooms between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. E’ un fiore economico, available everywhere in Italy and of great visual impact, thanks to its very strong and bright yellow color.
A bouquet is composed of many small herbaceous twigs with on top tiny yellow “pom poms”, the diameter of a few millimeters. The flower can be cured in water and lasts only a few days, but once dried it can be preserved to create beautiful compositions of still life or used between the pages of books or inside the drawers, as a natural perfumer.
Women’s Day and mimosa cake
In Italy the celebration provides for a dessert, typical of the pastry tradition of the north-central, detto Cake Mimosa. la torta mimosa is a great classic of local pastry and was developed around the 50s of the last century, between Rome and Rieti. It has an inviting appearance and comes in the form of zuccotto with a soft and fragrant, sprinkled with crumbled sponge cake and icing sugar that, placed on the surface, makes it look like a bouquet of mimosa, from which it rightly takes its name. It is a very simple sweet to be realized but with a great scenic effect.