High schools in the south of the United States, especially in Texas, often have a tradition of the girls wearing “mums” and boys wearing “garters” to the Homecoming football game. Mums usually consist of artificial Chrysanthemum flowers (originally real Chrysanthemums were used) surrounded by decorated floor-length ribbon and little trinkets. The tradition is that the boys create a personalized mum in their school colors, white and silver for seniors, for their date. Girls make garters for their date which are similar to mums but shorter and worn on the guy’s arm rather than around their neck like mums. The size of the mums and garters tend to grow along with the grade the person that is receiving the mum is in. Around the 1980s, mums were usually about a maximum of three Chrysanthemum flowers and a few ribbons and only worn by the Homecoming Court/Homecoming Prince and/or Princess but as the years have gone by, the size and expectations of mums have increased and have gotten more elaborate and are worn by almost all of the students. Depending on the school, mums can get quite competitive, expensive, and drastically bigger than they previously were intended to be. New items are also placed on mums than there previously were like LED lights, bubble containers, cow bells, feather boas, stuffed animals of all sizes, and even more. They now sometimes act like scrapbooks made of ribbon and even contain passages and photos of the mum/garter-receiver and their date. The detail, size, and price usually varies depending on the school, town, and couple. The tradition is to make the mum and garter after the couple is asked to Homecoming and exchange the night of the Homecoming game and wear it throughout tailgating and the game. Couples often take group pictures with their mums and garters the night of or before the night of the Homecoming Game to showcase them.
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