International Women’s Day or Festa Della Donna is celebrated every year on 8th March throughout the world to honour the social, historical, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world.
International Women's Day
You may be surprised to hear that International Women’s Day began in New York in 1909. The first celebration was held in honour of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union strike which took place the previous year at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in Manhattan and saw over 15,000 women marching through the streets of New York for better working conditions and voting rights. This led to the first National Women’s Day being observed across the United States. A year later, the attendants of the second International Conference of Working Women tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day in every country and hence the global celebration was born.
Festa della Donna in Italy
While the day is celebrated globally, Italy has its very own traditions for the occasion. The flowers that represent International Women’s Day are Mimosa flowers. A symbol of femininity and womanhood, the yellow flowers are handed out on the day to all women as a gesture of gratitude and appreciation. It is customary for Italian businesses, like shops and hairdressers, to hand out the flowers to female customers. The tradition originated in 1946, when two women’s rights activists Rita Montagnana and Teresa Mattei had the idea to gift them to women of all ages as a symbol of strength and unity. Almost 80 years later, the tradition prevails, and we continue the tradition at Lina Stores, every year. Visit any of our restaurants or delicatessens on 8th March, when we will be gifting Mimosa flowers to all our female guests to thank them for everything they do.
In Italy, no celebration is complete without food and every occasion comes with its very own dish – and it’s no different for Festa della Donna. The Mimosa cake, given its name for the resemblance to the flower, is a yellow sponge cake that is as delicious to look at as it is to eat. Many bakeries will have Mimosa cakes on display on the days leading up to the celebration, and you won't want to miss out on the opportunity to taste one! While there are many different variations of the cake, the classic recipe is made with Italian sponge cake or Pan di Spagna with a custard and whipped cream filling, topped with crumbled sponge resembling the yellow flower bunches. Our recipe layers a traditional Italian sponge cake with our homemade Limoncello Syrup and whipped Lemon Curd cream for the perfect modern interpretation. We will be serving slices of our Mimosa Cake in our Brewer Street, Marylebone and King's Cross delicatessens from 8th March until 31st March included.
This year we have also partnered with our friends at Women for Women International to support women survivors of war and conflict to rebuild their lives. The women gain essential tools, knowledge, resources, including learning about health and nutrition, developing skills in food preparation and even starting their own businesses.
We will donate £1 of each slice of Mimosa Cake sold in our delicatessens and have added an optional £1 bill donation at all our restaurants between today and the end of March.
Join us this International Women’s Day in supporting the incredible work of Women for Women International and celebrating all the wonderful women in our life!
Women for Women International. UK Charity Registration Number: 1115109