In Italy International Women’s Day on the 8th of March is called La Festa della Donna. In 1946 the Unione Donna Italiana, preparing for the celebrations, decided to choose an object to symbolize the event. The choice fell on Mimosa. Its success is due not only to the fact that it blossoms at this time of year, but also to its bright yellow colour, a symbol of vitality and joy, that represents the passage from death to life. It has become a tradition that the gentlemen will buy small sprigs of Mimosa which they will then offer to the ladies: part of the proceeds then go to support projects related to women’s causes, such as shelters for women subject to violence, breast cancer research, or co-operatives run by women in Third World Countries. Typically, 15 million Mimosa sprigs are sold in Italy for this occasion!
Mimosa is also given widely on this day in Russia.
This group of plants has the name “mimosa” because they move when touched, they are mimetic. They may be chosen for gardens, but this one at least is merely plucked from Nature.