Festa della Donna: Symbolism of the Mimosa Flower

Today is the Festa della Donna, or International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to women that is becoming recognized more and more across the globe.

If you don’t know what Women’s Day is, head on over to this blog post that explains its origins.
As Valentine’s Day is famous for roses, Women’s Day is known for the Mimosa flower.

On Women’s Day, especially in Italy, it is common for men, women and children to give the women in their lives a small branch exploding with the vibrant bright yellow flowers of the mimosa tree.

But, some might wonder, with all the flowers out there, why the mimosa?

Well, if you look at the characteristics of the flower, I think it symbolically sums up women quite nicely.

Take the color, for instance – a cheerful yellow, reminiscent of the sun that warms your mind, body and soul!

Its round fluffy flowers appear quite delicate, but the mimosa is actually quite strong and resilient. It is one of the first flowers to bloom when the temperatures start to rise, and they grow so quickly – you don’t even see them coming *wink*.

But the reason the mimosa has become synonymous with Women’s Day is actually thanks to three women -Rita Montagnana, Teresa Noce and Teresa Mattei, who were members of the Union of Italian Women.

Back in 1946, the Union of Italian Women wanted to choose a flower that would be symbolic of Women’s Day. The three women elected the mimosa because it is one of the few flowers that bloom at the beginning of March.

And since they grow wildly and in abundance, they aren’t expensive. You could easily find them growing in open fields and pick them freely. This was a big deal considering the economic situation post-war.

I guess the others agreed, because the mimosa has become a long-standing symbol of Women’s Day and women in general. And today, when many of these important events have sort of lost their true meaning, seeing women give each other a simple flower like the mimosa, is a beautiful reminder of the hardships and struggles women have faced in the past and continue to face today.

So, I’d like to wish all the ladies Buona Festa della Donna!

Image Credits: Simone Bosotti, RJP, Gunera