The Story Behind the Traditional International Women's Day Flowers

International Women’s Day is March 8—learn the history behind this feminist tradition and the flowers that go with it.

Every year on March 8, people around the world celebrate the women in their lives by observing International Women's Day. In addition to shopping at women-owned businesses and using the day to give money or resources to organizations that help women throughout the year, many people also follow the tradition of gifting International Women's Day flowers on March 8.

Read on to learn more about the history behind International Women's Day, this year's themes and intentions, as well as why flowers are an important symbol to all who celebrate.

What Is International Women's Day?

International Women's Day is a United Nations–a sanctioned global holiday that aims to celebrate women's contributions to society. It also hopes to raise awareness of the areas of society that need to improve to reach gender equality.

Each year has an official theme. Unofficially, many people use it as a day to remember all the women that have made an impact in their lives. They do so by sharing International Women's Day quotes, thoughtful messages, and more.

Give Flowers
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What Is the 2023 Theme?

The official International Women's Day website announced that the theme for 2023 is #EmbraceEquity, which will focus on creating a more fair and equal world by embracing equality in all forms. This means challenging gender stereotypes, calling out discrimination, drawing attention to bias, and seeking inclusion for all.

Organizers encourage participants to show the world how they embrace equality by sharing pictures on social media with the hashtag #EmbraceEquity.

Official Women's Day Flower Symbolism

The history of International Women's Day stretches back more than 100 years when the day was first observed across Europe and America. But according to NPR, it wasn't until March 8, 1946, that feminists in Italy chose the mimosa flower as a symbol of strength, sensibility, and sensitivity for Women's Day.

International Women's Day flowers - history, story
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Over the years, women and men alike have continued to give the gift of flowers to show their appreciation for the strong women in their lives. And although the mimosa flower has a special significance, it's not the only flower given.

According to The New York Times, flower shops across Russia sell upwards of 150,000 roses on March 8. You, too, can participate in the flower-giving tradition this year; order flower delivery for the remarkable women in your life ahead of time, or pick up a bouquet from your local flower shop and gift individual blooms to the women you pass throughout the day.

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