Women's day in Italy

La Festa Della Donna - International Women’s Day in Italy

March 8 - Woman's Day

Mimosa flowers

The 8th of March is the International Women’s Day and Italian men are going to celebrate it with the traditional gift of yellow mimosas to Italy’s lovely women.

This civil holiday was born as a political event, and over the course of years blended into the culture of many countries, to the point that in some celebrations, the day lost its political flavor, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love to the women around them.

Women’s Day has its roots in two events that took place outside of Italy. On March 8, 1857 a strike by garment workers in New York, led to the formation of the first women's union in the United States. Sixty years later Russian women led a strike calling for "bread and peace" during the twin horrors of World War I and the Russian Revolution. In 1945 the Union of Italian Women declared that this special date, March 8, should be set aside to celebrate womanhood across the country.

Italians are fond of this celebration, even if some criticize it as being an excuse used by men to make up for a year long of neglect toward their partners. It is also criticized for being more and more of a commercial and marketing initiative, with its civil and political meaning pushed every year further in the background. Feminists movements also criticize how some women celebrate this holiday, by having wild women-only nights, going to male stripper shows and so on. Basically, they celebrate women’s day by behaving as men for a night.

While it is true that men should show their love and care every day of the year, we Italians appreciate having a special day

International Womens Day

reserved for our women. Women in Italy don’t need a special day to go out and celebrate in a women-only night, but they live this particular night with enthusiasm.

What does happen in Italy on the 8th of March, then? The symbol of the day is the yellow mimosa and expression of female solidarity. The origin of the custom is lost, but it is said to have started in Rome after World War II. Men began giving the mimosa to their partners, friends, co-workers and family give to their significant others, colleagues, mothers and sisters blossoming branches of this tree. Scent of mimosas fills the air and remember to every one not only the meaning of this day, but also that spring is nearing. Everybody tries his best to be extra gentle and caring with all women. Today it has evolved and now women also give mimosa to each other.

While men show all their love for women, society as a whole remembers the importance of women, their important contribute to the betterment of our society and their sacrifices, celebrates their achievements. Cultural demonstrations and political rallies remember to all of us all fights women had to endure for their rights and what is till left to do in order to have every member of society, male or female, treated in perfect equal way.

By Andrea Nicosia and Justin Demetri




Thursday, March 08TH, 2012 by Guest

Thank you for this article. Even in our modern times, life is still harder for women then it is for men. When I lived in Italy I always liked this day, the small gift of mimosa women received was a small way of remembering and honouring women's work and struggle all year around. Now I live in England where sadly most people don't seem to know about Womens Day.   Giulia  

Wednesday, March 21TH, 2012 by Guest

I had not heard about the gift of mimosa until today. I am studying Italian language and culture. Next March I will remember this..... we have a plant here in Australia which is Acacia, similar to Mimosa and we call it wattle.
I think the wattle is our national emblem, green and gold ... but unsure about this.
Women around the world need help, especially in the third world. Perhaps on this day we could draw attention to this, as well as celebrate and admire those women who have broken through the bias and excelled.

Wednesday, March 21TH, 2012 by Guest

Hello all,

was just returning from hiking in Italy and also heard the first time about this "festa della donna". Does anybody have the exact biological name of the "mimose" which you can buy anywhere there before and on this day? Is it possible to get these in Germany as well in march?

Many thanks,


Friday, March 08TH, 2013 by Guest

1911: As a result of the Copenhagen initiative, International Women's Day was marked for the first time (19 March) in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, where more than one million women and men attended rallies. In addition to the right to vote and to hold public office, they demanded women's rights to work, to vocational training and to an end to discrimination on the job.

Friday, March 08TH, 2013 by Guest

International Women’s Day is
a Joke in India…India Govt. & Indian Police don’t Help/Protect even a Poor
& Helpless 77 yr Widow like me…but JAILED me !!!

Please see…Police
Cruelty on a 77 yr Poor Complainant Widow - Prima Facie Documentary Evidence of
Hon. Bombay High Court Judges' Orders

Police…is Supposed to Protect
77 yr Sr. Citizen Widow & Mentally Challenged Girl…or…JAIL & Do CRUELTY
to them???!!! …see the Ugly Truth…on my Facebook page – Mohini Kamwani …http://www.facebook.com/mohini...

Saturday, March 09TH, 2013 by Guest

My heart soars. Here, as the snow still blankets the long view, I remember walking through Orvietto last year, and seeing so many smiling women going about their business with a bouquet of mimosa in their arms. One wonderful woman in a shop where we were looking for some bread, some cheese, some wine, snipped me off a small branch, and said something beautiful in Italian.

Sunday, March 10TH, 2013 by Guest

Wow! This is the first I've heard of this special day. Will have to celebrate here in America, too!