March is generally known for being Women’s History Month, after a tragic event involving female immigrants in NYC led women to protest against terrible working conditions, hours, and pay. A few years later in 1945 the women’s Union of Italy took its stance of women’s freedom and reserved March 8th as Festa della Donna.
Throughout the years the celebration of this day has shifted from its strong political start to one of leisure for women to have a day to enjoy themselves. What tradition that is constantly unchanging and embraced is the use of mimosas, but not the Sunday brunch treat.
Mimosas are small yellow, shrub-like flowers that have a sweet fragrance and were introduced as the symbol by Teresa Mattei. What makes mimosa flowers special is that not only are they the first to bloom in Italian spring, but they are known to survive and flourish in opposing surroundings. Thus it became the perfect symbol of strength and sensibility. Much like the women of the movement which pressed for social and economical equality, so as they could grow and prosper in their own environment. It is custom for women to be gifted a small bouquet of these flowers as to signify the gratefulness and respect the counterpart feels to them. It is mainly men who do such gifting, but now it’s common for the females to exchange mimosas amongst each other as another sign of love and unity. There is also ‘torta mimosa’ a moist, custard cake made from layered sponge bases, coated in a citrus liquor (limoncello or orange cointreau are best options), topped with sponge puffs and confectioner sugar to resemble the small mimosa blooms. A delicious treat to be enjoyed through the days!
To celebrate this in Italy is a sight to behold. You can expect to see women donning yellow clothing or accessories, men giving a cheerful ‘Auguri!’(Well wishes!) along kind smiles, and small festivals within the gatherings.
We at Casale 3 Danesi support and honor the great strides women have made to better the future for all, so we kindly ask that you use today to reach out to the loved women in your life and wish them a “Buona Festa della Donna!”
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