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The history of the Texas homecoming mum and how the tradition came to be

Photo courtesy of Adrian Michael Alaniz
Photo courtesy of Adrian Michael Alaniz

HOUSTON – When shoppers at Hobby Lobby stores in Texas find aisles filled with tons of ribbon, massive corsages, and cowbells, they know what time it is — homecoming.

Every year during the fall semester, Texas high school students will count down the days to their school’s homecoming football game and dance.

Leading up to the dance, schools will host a spirit week with themed dress-up days.

One of these days will be designated as mum and garter day. This is when students will come to school sporting their Texasified homecoming corsage and the halls will be noisy with cowbells and jingles as they transition from class to class.

Over the years, as the Texas tradition has grown more popular, the mums have become more elaborate and larger in size.

Here’s the history of the Texas homecoming mum and how the tradition came to be:

According to The Mum Shop, a leading designer for custom mums and garter in North Texas, it all began at the University of Missouri, the NCAA recognizes as the official place of birth of homecoming.

Not long after Mizzou’s first homecoming celebration in 1911, the tradition of a boy giving his homecoming date a corsage was born in Texas.

What started as a small chrysanthemum with just a few ribbons has evolved into an enormous Texas homecoming mum.

According to The Mum Shop, homecoming mums became more elaborate in the 1970s and have since continued to grow.

From freshman to senior year, students are expected to outdo themselves each year in the grandiosity of their mums.

Homecoming mums today typically include a large flower centerpiece with tons of ribbons, charms, cowbells, jingle bells, stuffed animals, and even LED lights.

What a sparkly senior mum!

Posted by The Mum Shop on Friday, September 13, 2019

According to The Mum Shop, homecoming mums were exclusively a Texas tradition but it has since expanded into neighboring states like Oklahoma and Louisiana in recent years.


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