Homecoming is an event shared by high schools, colleges and universities. The homecoming celebration is the welcoming back of former students and teachers to the school. Homecoming celebrations last at least a week and are a source of school pride for past and present students. There are some activities that are unique to each individual school but in large part the schools share these similar homecoming traditions. School sports teams are often called on to represent the school as a whole during homecoming sports rivalries with neighboring schools.
Bonfires and Football
Schools will often have a football game with rivals the week of homecoming. These football games can be preceded by bonfires. The bonfire is like a large pep rally where team spirit is raised. Sometimes an effigy of the rival team or the rival's team paper mascot is burned in the bonfire. The football game may also feature a halftime contest of the school bands and cheerleading squads.
Homecoming dances are formal or semiformal events held on school grounds. The Homecoming attendees will elect a king and queen who will ceremonially oversee the remainder of the Homecoming events.
Larger schools, namely colleges, sometimes hold Homecoming parades during their celebrations. This Homecoming tradition includes floats made by students that represent each school department or club. Parades may also include the school's marching band and majorettes.
During the week dress-up days might be held by students. This Homecoming tradition usually includes a daily theme like Cowboy Day or Crazy Sock Day.
Schools have been known to have a car smash, which allows students to tear to pieces a car painted in the rival school's colors. Other traditions are variations on the football game theme: flag football, touch football and powder-puff football games.