The Eighth of March is International Women's Day. In Italy it is called '' La Festa Delle Donne,' which sounds less formal and more like a party, which it often is.
This Festa is nothing at all to do with feminism, equality or a sort of Us and Them.
It is a celebration of female solidarity, female friendship. Husbands, boyfriends, sons, grandsons, brothers, uncles, nephews, etc are not threatened at all by this celebration, they know they are greatly loved and irreplaceable.
In Italy, straight after Valentine's, the red hearts and roses will be replaced by sprigs of mimosa and yellow chocolates and sweets.
If you ask most women what it's all about, what does the mimosa signify, they will probably say that they did know once but they've forgotten.
The origin is tragic and seems to have started when some women perished in a factory fire.
As the day draws nearer women might send each other messages of solidarity and friendship and affection. On the day itself, many will go out for a pizza or just a drink or invite friends round for a yellow-themed meal.
Here is one of my favourite messages that I think sums up the attitude to Women's day, I have translated it for my English-speaking friends.
Dedicated to Women
Children grow up
Work comes and goes
Hearts get broken
Colleagues forget favours you have done
But a friend, if she really is one, is never so far away to be reached, even if sometimes it could happen, to break the rules and to not find each other and not walk side by side for awhile
This message was sent to me with the 'clause' to pass it on to all the women who at least once or more have helped me to smile..
So to my friends of yesterday and today
When I was a child I thought you just had one friend, your best friend and that was it,
Growing up I realized you could have lots of friends
One of them you need for when you have problems with affairs of the heart
Another one for when you have problems with your mother
Yet another for talking about your children and your activities
Then there is the friend to go shopping with,
to sit and have a coffee
to go to the cinema
to have a laugh
to go out dancing
Maybe, for some of us, all these personalities can be found concentrated in one woman friend,
for others there may be more than one
One from Primary school
One from High School
One from College or university
Other times it could be your mother
your next-door neighbour
or your daughter......
It doesn't matter if she's been your friend for twenty minutes or twenty years.....
the essential thing is that you felt they were near you in a special moment of your life
female solidarity is an invincible force...
Send this message to all the women who have a place in your heart!