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Togas, tassles and caps, oh my!

University students dream about their graduation day from the very first moment they step on campus. They dream about wearing the toga, accepting the certificate, throwing the cap in the air, framing the pictures and unwrapping the presents that will represent all their hard work. But have you ever wondered about the origin of these traditions? Let’s have look at what a graduation is all about.

GRADUATION

Graduation day is the day that a person receives an academic degree upon completion of the studies. It represents the transition from being a student to becoming a graduate. It is also a very special day because it is (usually!) the result of a lot of hard work and sacrifices, and this is why families and friends gather up together to celebrate their loved one’s important day.

TOGA, CAPS AND TASSEL

The tradition of wearing a toga and, let’s face it, funny looking caps dates back to the first universities in the 12th century, where scholars wore long gowns and caps to keep warm in the buildings, which were usually unheated churches at the time.
The different colours on the togas were used to represent the academic institute the scholar belonged to – and this tradition has remained the same during today’s graduation ceremonies.

Moving the tassel from one side to the other during the graduation ceremony symbolises the transition from student to graduate – a small gesture that means a lot for those who have managed to achieve so much.

The whole meaning behind wearing these clothes for this one special occasion is to specify the importance of the day. Often people look at a piece of clothing and relate it to a special memory, and, just like a wedding dress can be seen to embody the marriage, that is what the toga does to the graduates.
The beauty of the toga and the cap, however, is that every graduate looks the same, which symbolizes that we are all equal.

TOSSING OF THE CAP

At the end of the ceremony, students gather together and throw their caps up in the air all at once. This is believed to be derived from the US Naval Academy, when back in 1912 the Navy graduates received their officers’ hats and could therefore get rid of the midshipmen’s caps – they would therefore celebrate by happily throwing the old caps in the air.


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GIFTS

Graduation day is a one to remember; it’s a special ceremony that defines the end of an era and the beginning of a new adventure. It must be remembered in all its form and beauty, and this is why it is tradition to offer a gift to the graduate in order to capture the memories of this important day.
Gifts can be everyday accessories valuables varying from necklaces and to watches, or everyday accessories to like pens and briefcases. The tangible and valuable meaning behind those timeless presents is one that they will carry with them for a very long time.

Graduating from an academic institution is a tradition that has been running for a very long time, and has created wonderful memories for past students and will continue to be a special event for the future ones.