Why do we gift flowers on International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is a beloved annual March 8 tradition, but did you know this long-celebrated day is not a made-up consumer driven holiday to ramp up flower sales like some elude… but instead features a storied century-old history of women fighting for their rights?

One of the lasting traditions of this celebration, which recognizes women and their achievements, is the simple act of giving flowers… but while this is a meaningful show of appreciation, we wonder how this tradition began.

To truly understand, it’s important to revisit the origin of International Women’s Day. While there are a few ideas behind the true “beginning” of when and where this important celebration began, according to The History Channel the concept of “Women’s Day” floated around for some time (possibly starting as-early-as 1907 in NYC) before officially taking hold in Europe on March 19, 1911, when the first ‘International Women’s Day’ “drew more than 1 million people to rallies worldwide.”

According to the United Nations & History Channel websites… a few years later, In 1917, thousands of Russian textile workers were led by Alexandra Kollontai, a Russian feminist, to go on strike and protest World War I in what was called the “women’s demonstration for bread and peace,”. The women’s actions were greeted with swift success when Czar Nicholas II abdicated the throne four days after the strike, and a provisional government granted Russian women the right to vote.

Over a century later, the March 8 International Women’s Day holiday is celebrated to the fullest extent around the globe as women are showered with beautiful blooms to show our appreciation of the incredible women in our lives.

Of course, International Women’s Day is about more than simply showing appreciation with a beautiful gift of flowers, but there is nothing wrong with this gesture accompanying the fight for gender equity and parity. Giving the gift of flowers to your family, co-workers, and best friends is a wonderful way to show you appreciate them during this year’s International Women’s Day. 

Source: California Cut Flower Commission

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