Homecoming: An American Tradition
Its fall and that means one thing — Homecoming! It’s an event that rallies students together full of school spirit to support their football team. Or is it? Americans have been celebrating Homecoming for almost a hundred years, but is it the same thing between high school and college?
According to Wikipedia, Homecoming was first created as community event that welcomed back alumnae from University level to support the home team. In modern day times it’s still revealed as a patriotic event, a pastime if you will of education itself.
Sometimes Homecoming isn’t even about the game at all, but what happens before the game in the parking lot. A tailgater is a party, outside in the parking lot before the big game. People bring their portable grills and sizzle till the sun sets. If you can’t get tickets to the game, it’s just as well to go along to the tailgater, as you’ll be able to hear the cheers (or boos) and still feel about of the atmosphere.
The first Homecoming game is accredited to the University of Missouri in 1911, as it was the first annual event that was centered on a parade, ending with a football game. There still are speculations between other universities as to who really had the originating game. Baylor University, based in Waco, Texas, is recorded as having a Homecoming history that dates back to 1909. Either way, celebrating Homecoming is a hundred year old tradition that most universities take pride in continuing year after year. The tradition has expanded in certain States to the wearing of ‘Mums’, a take on the fall flower Chrysanthemum. It’s a type of badge, decorated so the wearer will be impossible to miss. Competitions are based around the best design, or perhaps most creative use of materials.
The other oldest tradition of Homecoming is that of the float parade. The local main street would be full of floats representing a theme, and would be overly decorated, carrying the King and Queen of Homecoming waving to the townspeople. The Homecoming King and Queen are chosen from a group of students known as the ‘Homecoming Court’. It’s a time when the community joins together and connect over the history of the university and celebrate the connections it has provided. Charity functions are also involved throughout the week, providing the community with different aid whether it’s funding or volunteering.
Whether you’re still in high school, or it’s your freshman year at college, take advantage of the tradition and celebrate the spirit of your school! Gather together with friends and wear your colors with pride, Homecoming arrives only once a year and it’s a great start to kick off before the holiday season.