Why do We Wear Graduation Caps & Gowns at Graduation?


Why do we Wear Graduation Caps & Gowns at Graduation?

Generally speaking, graduates will don a graduation cap and gown at their graduation ceremony. Then, they will take photo with classmates or friends to celebrate their graduation. However, have you ever wondered why you should wear a graduation gown and cap at that day?

The History of Graduation Cap and Gown

As a matter of fact, the tradition of graduating in a degree uniform dates back to at least the 12th century, when the first university was established in Europe. In the 12th century, due to the development of Christianity, monasteries, archdiocese schools, and parish schools appeared. The church taught priests and monks in these places to read, write, calculate, and teach basic knowledge of doctrines. (Grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, music, astronomy). The teachers of these schools are called Doctors in Italy (derived from Latin doctoreum, meaning teachers) and masters in Paris (Master, from Latin magisters, meaning teachers, masters).

With the development of the school, the number of teachers has gradually increased, and they have imitated handicrafts and commerce to establish their own trade associations, which they call "University" (derived from the Latin Universities, meaning the community).

Early college students were organized into classes to attend school, but not all students need exams. Only those who are determined to become teachers will be tested by the school. To become a master or doctor, they usually have to go through 2 ~ 3 Years of study and passed the last rigorous test.

Candidates who pass the exam are required to wear a monk's robe, and fellow students (Bachelor (from Latin baccahalar, meaning bachelor) sit together to hold a feast of wine provided by the candidates who successfully passed the exam. This is the prototype of the students' graduation ceremony.

In medieval Europe, both men and women were required to wear black robes. This was because the cold halls and air-permeable buildings forced people to put on long and floor floors and attach headbands (hoods, also called hooded shoulders. Originated after shaving) The bag that the disciples carried was a robe. Early colleges were trained by missionaries, so their clothing should correspond to their status as monks. This dark robe + headscarf dress gradually became a tradition and continued to the later universities.

Later, the dress of the robe + turban gradually changed and refined. Due to the popularity of hats in the 15th century, the turban gradually became a separate ornament (drape) without the need to wear it on the head. School hats appeared. The original school bowler hat shape originated from various subject symbols, and there were various shapes such as circles, squares, etc. Today, the tassel on the graduate hat is developed from the decoration on the hat.

Meaning and Regulations

After unification, the modern academic uniform is basically composed of four parts: academic cap, tassel, academic gown and academic drape, each with its meaning and regulations.

The degree cap is derived from the cap of the clergy. It is the hat worn by the Jews as an antique priest to remind themselves of godliness, humility, and remembering God. The four corners of the Oxford hat represent the four poles of the world and symbolize the knowledge of the world. The French Revolution also gave it the meaning of "freedom and liberation."

Tassel, symbol of ripe rice ears. The colors of tassel for bachelor, master and doctor are different according to the regulations of different countries. In our country, tassel for doctor is red, tassel for master is dark blue, tassel for bachelor is black, and tassel for principal is yellow. At the same time of conferring a degree at the graduation ceremony, a burial ceremony must be performed, that is, the tassel on the degree cap is shifted from the right to the left of the wearer.

The academic robe is derived from the missionary's robe and has a solemn, sacred sense of ritual. There is no uniform style for European degree gowns, and the United States has more uniform rules. The three bars on the sleeve represent academic colors.

The degree drapes can best embody the degree level, and its size and shape vary with different degrees. The higher the degree, the larger the size and the more exquisite the workmanship. The outer layer of the turban matches the black material of the robe, and the lining is folded out and turned out, using the university representative color. The color of the velvet welt indicates the subject category.