As graduation season looms, did you ever wonder where these dignified – and sometimes long-winded – ceremonies came from? Here are some interesting facts about graduation ceremonies that you may not know; but that will help you to understand any Danvers or Boston area graduations you attend this year.
The first graduation ceremonies, as well as the traditional garb, originated in the Middle Ages. Institutions of higher learning were solely religious institutions, and liturgical style gowns were worn by the students; the tradition of the modern cap and gown is a direct descendant of that custom. Similarly, each member of the clergy was required to proceed to the podium to give a speech in Latin. Thankfully, now only one or two speeches are given; imagine if every graduate were given a chance to speak!
The tradition of throwing caps in the air is a much more contemporary custom. Graduates of the Naval Academy began the practice in 1912 when they threw their midshipman’s hats in the air once they received their officer’s caps. Spectators loved the spectacle, and graduates everywhere began to throw their mortarboards into the air in ceremonial celebration.
Sir Edgar Elger, an English composer, wrote the “Pomp & Circumstance Military March” over a 30-year span. When invited to speak at Yale in 1905, they played a part in his composition as the students filed in and out of the ceremony. The song became so prolific that few realize a British military march is now played at virtually every graduation annually.
Whatever its history, a graduation ceremony remains an important rite of passage for millions of students annually; and for each of them, their graduation is the most important. Currans Flowers has the flowers, plants and gourmet delicacies to reward and recognize every graduate in your life. Ask our florists about the special meanings behind flowers, and design a bouquet that represents accomplishment, pride, success, or respect. We look forward to helping you celebrate this important milestone!