News & Events

Buona Festa della Donna!

Date 03.08.2015

“La Festa della Donna” or International Women’s Day, is a popular holiday in Italy, celebrated each year on March 8. It is a day on which to celebrate women’s economic, political and social achievements. Its roots lie in the feminist struggle for equal rights and recognition of the dignity, value and contributions of women worldwide in every area of society.

The holiday began as a day of memory and protest following a tragic event in New York in 1908. In early March of that year, the workers (all women) at a textile factory went on strike to protest the substandard conditions in which they were forced to work. On the 8th, the owner blocked all of the exits to the factory and set the building on fire. The 129 factory workers trapped inside, for the most part Italian immigrants, all died.

Today the celebration has become more similar to Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day. Women receive bouquets of mimosa flowers from the men in their lives, be they husbands, sons, friends, or employers. This flower was chosen by Italian feminists as the symbol of the holiday in 1946, to mark the first occasion of the holiday after the end of World War II. It was chosen because of its bright color and fragrant scent, and because it is in bloom at this time of year and is inexpensive.