My strange traditions

Texas high school students prepare for homecoming with mums


Alaina Galasso

Seniors Ariana Engles and Emma Rose Floyd show off their mums

Alaina Galasso, Editor in Chief

During Homecoming, high school students across Texas can be heard jingling down the halls. The girls are covered from their neck down in streamers and flowers; boys’ arms are draped in a similar fashion. Mums and garters are a tradition that mainly take place in the southern United States. Usually dates prepare one for each other during Homecoming week, or creative students make their own.

“The whole experience of putting together my very first mum was a very bizarre experience for me, coming from the north,” senior Alyssa Castrillon said. “I thought that ‘mum’ was just the English way to say ‘mom’ and that was it.”

Mums originated as chrysanthemum flowers used by a boy to ask a girl to the Homecoming dance. In fact, the word term “mum” originated from the word chrysanthemum. Now, they have evolved from a tiny flower into giant floral pins worn around the neck or pinned to the shoulder. Students add flowers, stuffed animals, streamers, bells, feathers and even LED lights. Sometimes, girls even make smaller mums that can be worn around the wrist, finger or in their hair. Generally, the mum represents the girl’s’ interests and school spirit. In turn, the boys receive a garter from a girl. These smaller versions of the girl’s mums are placed on a band so they may be worn around the arm. Boys generally don’t make garters “just for fun” like girls do, instead they only wear one if it was made by their date.

“Mums are ridiculously overpriced,” senior Hannah Olsen said. “However, they are fun to make with the person you are going to Homecoming with.”

Mums and garters can be made at home or by a professional. Stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels are decked out with supplies during the month of October. Some people have their own business where they allow their customers to pick their colors and pieces so they can assemble the mum or garter in return for $50-100. For example, the Legacies have a mum store every year. Generally, the store is open the week of Homecoming from 3:45-6:30 p.m. and during that time any student can come in to choose how they want their mum or garter to look.

“The Legacies Mum Store is a great way to promote school spirit and gets everyone excited for Homecoming week,” senior Legacy Emily Garza said. “I really enjoy working at the store because I get to help people pick out all of the fun trinkets to make their mum.”

Traditionally, mums and garters are made in the weeks preceding Homecoming. Then, the day of the football game everyone shows off their creations all day at school. The mums and garters usually remain on, throughout any festivities before the game (tailgating, etc) until the night is over. Some schools have casual Homecoming dances right after the game and, in that case, the mums and garters remain on for the event. Other schools have formal dances the next day to wrap up the week of Homecoming.

Mums can be worn in hair too!
Alaina Galasso
Mums can be worn in hair too!