The Homecoming Mum tradition is a very old tradition that has evolved greatly over the years. What started out as a simple real flower (chrysanthemum) with some ribbons is now a silk flower with ribbons and almost anything you can imagine added to them.
There are many traditions that have stayed the same for many many years now. Of course new trends always pop up, but some things remain the same.
In the past Homecoming Mums were given from a boy to a girl that he is taking to the Homecoming Dance. The bigger the mum the more "loved" you were. This is not necessarily the case anymore.
Today, Homecoming mums are still exchanged with the boy getting his date a Homecoming Mum and the girl gets her date a smaller version the boy wears on the arm called a Homecoming Garter. But due to the changing times, may teenagers now prefer to go to Homecoming with friends or in groups eliminating the need for a "date". In this instance, parents usually buy homecoming mums for their daughters or girls will buy them for themselves or their friends! The little sis mum has become a fun tradition for high school girls to get one for their little sister who might be in middle school or elementary as a way for them to be including in on all the fun.
Homecoming Mums are worn on game day (which is usually Friday) at school all day. As you can imagine on Homecoming day, the High School halls are filled with sounds of bells, ribbon rustling and all sorts of noise makers. Then you wear your mum to the Homecoming Football game that night as well. Most schools do not wear their mums to the Dance, only to school and game.
Then you have the sizes, oh my the sizes. The tradition is that Freshmen have a single mum, Sophomores have a double mum, and Juniors have a triple mum made in the school colors. Seniors will have all sorts of sizes (Quads and Triples being most common) or even large single mums. The senior mums are usually all white and either gold or silver depending on the school colors. Over the past few years, many seniors elect to add an "accent" color of their choice such as hot pink or purple. These are the traditional guidelines, but not a set in stone rule. The only true faux pas would be getting an underclassman too big of a mum (such as a freshman wearing a triple, etc).
The Homecoming Mum has become a fun way to show your school spirit and your individuality. On the mum themselves, you can add most anything you want! Most people keep their mums forever. Many hang them on their bedroom walls and cherish them for many years to come!
Hope you enjoyed reading this!