Graduation What Side Does the Tassel Go On


What Side Does the Tassel Go On?

Graduation day is a momentous occasion for students, symbolizing the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. As the day approaches, many graduates find themselves wondering about the smallest details, such as which side the tassel should be placed. While seemingly insignificant, this simple accessory holds great significance and tradition. In this article, we will explore the history behind the graduation tassel and answer frequently asked questions regarding its placement.

The Graduation Tassel: A Symbol of Achievement

The tassel is a small cord that hangs from the top of the graduation cap, known as the mortarboard. It is typically made of silk or a similar material and consists of several strands tied together at one end. The tassel’s color often represents the graduate’s field of study or the school’s official colors.

The tradition of wearing a tassel during graduation dates back centuries. It is believed to have originated in the 14th century when European universities began to adopt the practice of awarding degrees. During this time, academic attire, including the graduation cap, gown, and tassel, became standardized.

Initially, the tassel was worn in the front of the cap, hanging down over the face. This position was practical, as it kept the tassel out of the wearer’s eyes and protected it from being damaged. However, as time went on, the tassel’s placement gradually shifted to the right side of the cap.

Modern Tassel Placement: The Right Side

Today, the general rule is that the graduation tassel should be placed on the right side of the cap for the majority of the ceremony. This tradition is upheld in most educational institutions worldwide. However, there are a few exceptions.

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During the actual graduation ceremony, when students receive their diplomas, there is often a symbolic moment when the tassel is moved from the right to the left side. This signifies the official conferral of the degree and the transition from student to graduate.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the tassel on the right side?

The tradition of wearing the tassel on the right side is believed to have evolved from the practice of military uniforms. Soldiers wore their hats with a tassel on the left side, and to differentiate the academic cap, the tassel was moved to the right.

2. When should I move my tassel to the left side?

The tassel should be moved to the left side during the graduation ceremony when the graduates are officially declared as graduates and receive their diplomas. This is usually done collectively when directed by a speaker or a school official.

3. Can I wear the tassel on the left side throughout the entire ceremony?

While it is generally accepted to wear the tassel on the right side for the majority of the ceremony, some schools may have specific guidelines. It is important to check with your school or follow any instructions provided to ensure you adhere to the correct protocol.

4. What if my tassel falls off?

If your tassel falls off during the ceremony, it is acceptable to fix it and continue wearing it on the right side. It is also a common tradition to keep the tassel as a memento of your graduation day.

5. Can I customize my tassel?

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Some graduates choose to personalize their tassels by adding charms or other decorations. However, it is essential to check with your school’s guidelines to ensure that any modifications are allowed.

In conclusion, the graduation tassel is a symbol of achievement and tradition. While the general rule is to wear it on the right side during most of the ceremony, it is moved to the left side during the official conferral of degrees. Remember to consult your school’s guidelines to ensure you adhere to the correct protocol and enjoy your graduation day to the fullest!