When it comes to homecoming, no one beats the South


Anna Duplantis

The tradition of homecoming is an American staple, and the southern style homecoming often differs a bit from the rest of the country.

Sunset orange lights the turf field like soft fire. In the stands of a football field wait hundreds of students, many wearing big, flowery decorative mums (or giant corsages), colored to represent their school with accents, lights or even their name on a large jewel, which sits in the middle of the flower, often modeling a chrysanthemum holding all of the ribbons together.

Homecoming, as defined by a quick search and supported by a Seventeen article titled “What is Homecoming?” by Carolyn Twersky, is a literal coming home of sorts for a school’s sports’ team, most often football.

In the article, the first homecoming is debated to have been held by either the University of Missouri, Baylor University or the University of Illinois, who all claim to have begun homecoming events in 1911, 1909 and 1910.

Despite the origins being hard to track down, the traditions spread quickly to other schools, and homecoming became widely celebrated by the mid-century.

While the tradition of homecoming is now an American staple, the South’s homecoming has surpassed the North’s way of celebration with its unique style and traditions.

Through experiencing the Southern style homecoming and what I understand of the other side of this equation, I can say the two seem similar but are fundamentally different in the quality of traditions celebrated. The South also has unique homecoming traditions not shared by the North.

The art of mum making is exclusive to the South, specifically Texas.

Mums are actually quite uncommon, even Wikipedia doesn’t have a mention of the tradition of mums at homecoming.

Originally starting out as a simple, small corsage flower, mums have evolved into a bigger, better version (everything’s bigger in Texas after all), of its roots.

The art of mum making includes attaching ribbons and petals and lights to a cardboard backing, and arranging tassels and jewels artfully. Mum making is its own game all together.

The south’s better homecoming traditions don’t end at the inclusion of mums.

Have you ever been to a tailgate?

It’s a social scene that will have you making friends out of complete strangers. It’s atmosphere is unique in the South. Homecoming in itself is a fun time but adding these social events makes it better overall.

The rest of the country should include these traditions in their celebrations and make them their own. Sharing only means more fun for everyone.