Some definitions of homecoming say it is prom in the fall. Officially, homecoming or hoco is a week-long celebration of coming back to school. However, these things can vary from region to region and school to school. This is an opportunity to see old friends and teachers and to just have fun.
However, as you plan this year’s homecoming, choosing your outfit, did you ever wonder what is this tradition about? What does it really mean, when was the first homecoming party, and what is the story behind it? If you are nodding, then here is everything you need to know about homecoming.
What is Homecoming?
Depending on the school and region, homecoming can mean different things. In general, it means coming home, an opportunity to see your old friends, to meet again with teachers. For most schools, it happens at the beginning of the fall, and the beginning of the school year. Usually, it involves a party or a big football game. The court is crowded and the homecoming queen and king are selected. Even if you are not a sports fan, you can enjoy the atmosphere that is created around you.
However, the main part of homecoming is dance. It resembles a prom dance, but they don’t occur in the same season. While homecoming occurs in fall, prom is in spring.
Why Do We Celebrate It?
Homecoming is an American tradition. The original idea, even though it is not proven, came from the University of Missouri around 1911. However, the University of Illinois, as well as Baylor University claim they had been hosting homecoming parties in 1909 and 1910. No matter who started it, this tradition quickly spread around colleges. Soon high schools eventually adopted this tradition. Nowadays, it is a tradition no one wants to miss.
Homecoming vs Prom
Since homecoming has become a bigger event over the last few years, it started looking like a prom. However, it is definitely not the same event and shouldn’t be mixed.
The first and most obvious difference is that the two dances come at different times. Prom marks the beginning of spring, while homecoming marks the beginning of the school year in fall.
Unlike prom which is a more exclusive kind of event, open for seniors and sometimes juniors, homecoming is more open. Everyone can attend homecoming, even the underclassmen.
Finally, homecoming is more casual than prom. It is semi-formal and usually held in the school gym. However, some schools have different rules when it comes to dress codes. While some schools prefer casual outfits even for dance, others require a black-tie dress code. Dresses are usually short, and the suits are more casual.
Who Can Come to Homecoming?
The homecoming dance is open for all grades. However, be aware that some schools have their own rules. Many wonders if freshmen should attend homecoming parties. If the school allows it, then they definitely should come. It became a part of the tradition as well. Freshmen and first-year students come to homecoming parties to meet with seniors and to have fun as well.