1950s mum and garter tradition prevails


Caroline Attmore

Freshman Athena Tseng wears her mum as part of the Texas homecoming tradition.

Athena Tseng, Guest Contributor

Teddy bears, and flowers; it’s not Valentine’s Day, instead it’s Homecoming and mums. A Texas tradition that originated in the 1950s, mums are traditionally given by guys to their Homecoming date. 

“I mean mums are cool and everything,” freshman Makai Willingham said. “I find it really cool that there’s a tradition that has this. I just find it funny that it’s just that unique. I would have never thought you would be wearing flowers around your neck and stuff. I don’t know, I think it’s pretty cool. It’s pretty crazy.”

Mums began as just a small pin with one chrysanthemum at first and now have significantly increased in size with multiple flowers, ribbons, stuffed animals, and even LED lights if wanted.

But while hundreds of students on campus are wearing them on Thursday, not everybody is a fan. 

“I think they look very unattractive and I would never wear one,” freshman Krithi Prasad said. “I also don’t understand why it’s a thing because it’s really long and I feel like it would get in the way of walking and I would trip over one.”

A Texas tradition for more than 50 years, mums have dramatically increased in price and can now range from $200 to $300 per mum, a price that doesn’t make sense to junior Aryan Tyagi.

“In my opinion, mums are a waste of time,” Tyagi said. “They cost a lot of money. Like I remember my freshman year, I bought a mum and a went upwards of $65 to $70 and mine was a cheaper one.  I mean, I understand this tradition, but some traditions are just not good. They’re heavy. They’re loud. They’re uncomfortable. They’re just a tiresome, bothersome thing.”