We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Buona Festa della Donna!

If you anywhere in Italy this week, including Venice, over the past few days you would have seen street vendors and florist shops selling small bunches of the yellow mimosa for Festa della Donna.  March 8 is  International Women's Day, a day which commemorates the 129 women who died in a factory fire in Chicago in 1908.   The day also commemorates a strike by women garment workers on March 8,  1857 in New York which prompted the first women's union.  The mimosa is given as a sign of solidarity and respect for women.

When I first came to Italy I remembered being very curious about all the mimosas, as I had never seen this in the US. I don't remember ever knowing about this special day. I know about Mother's day, but had not ever been introduced to International Day of Women, and I'd worked all my life too.
But here in Italy, it's a huge deal.  That I had never heard of this day bothered me enough to start doing a little research, and discovered that while the day has been celebrated around the world for over 100 years it has not yet gained that kind of attention in the US.

Seems like this is the perfect opportunity for another Hallmark occasion.  I'm going to need all of you in the US to chime in on whether this has become a bigger event in the US since I've been here. Are all  you ladies getting bunches of mimosas today?  We are in Venice.

Buona Festa della Donna to all of you, wherever you are in the world. I'm sending virtual mimoas.


Anonymous said...

It is observed in Australia, (not necessarily on the 8th of March) with breakfasts or lunches, and sometimes marches through cities, at night.

The focus is on efforts to empower women and girls and end poverty.

As far as I know, the mimosa does not play any part.

Dianne said...

No mimosa flowers here but then I am retired but you would think that there would at least be some publicity on the television or in the newspapers. Considering how much our society is geared to making money from holidays (Sweetest Day being a prime example), I am surprised that the florists haven't caught on to it yet.

Sandra said...

It has made the news that it is National Womens Day for the first time,this year, but no story that I recall. No mention of the mimosa flowers either. So thank you for all the very interesting info, that you have given us! Next year, I will be looking to buy some mimosa for myself! Happy Womens day to you!!

Michelle said...

No mimosas here...unless it's the alcoholic kind. I didn't hear about International Women's Day until I was in college in a Women's Studies program. There are various things around...they consider March Women's History month but you have to have your finger on the pulse of your local feminist organization to really hear much about anything going on. They did comment about it on Canadian TV but nothing in the US media. They need to get on the bandwagon.
I was telling people yesterday (the 8th) about it and they looked at me like I was more than a bit strange. Not for the first time.

karen said...

Thanks, Sandra. So it still isn't big in the US either. I don't think I've ever seen this yellow mimosa in the US either, come to think of it. My parents used to have mimosa trees in our front yard when I was growing up, but those trees had bigger pink flowers on it.

Here, the men buy flowers for their wives, mothers, sisters. Women can buy mimosas for other women friends, but the norm is someone gives you the little bunch of flowers. Women go out to lunch or dinner together also.

Hope you had a happy Festa della Donna also.

karen said...

Ciao, Dianne!

I am really surprised Hallmark cards hasn't jumped on it, as well as the florists. Don't understand it.
Happy Festa della Donna, a day late :)

karen said...

Yvonne, at least it is celebrated in Australia. In the US, seems like still nothing. Weird. I like the holiday, love the little bunches of yellow flowers.

karen said...

Ciao, Michelle!

No, we know you aren't weird! The fact that this hasn't become a big event to celebrate in the US is though, I don't get it. At least you had heard of it before. It was completely new to me- well, new since I've been coming to Italy, that is.

Michelle said...

But I am one of "those people" that's what I was called when on safari in Africa I told a woman I was there for the UN Women's Conference (Nairobi, 1985). I think she was talking about feminists.

Andrew said...

It's low key in the UK too. My daughter put a bit about it on FB but otherwise I wouldn't have known.