День Знаний

Maybe you have seen some gorgeous pupils today in the city and you are wondering what celebration took place today? Today is День Знаний, Knowledge day, in Russia! You can also call it the first of September. As soon as August came to an end, Russian schoolchildren returned from holidays at summer camps, dachas or their grandmother’s homes and all families get prepared for the new school year. On September 1 the school year traditionally starts in Russia and many other former Soviet republics. This day also remarks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.

It is even more special for the incoming class of first grades as they participate in a celebratory assembly on this date. The celebration begins when children and parents are standing in line and are welcomed by the director of the school and their teachers. It is a tradition for top politicians to take part in the new term assemblies at the country’s most prestigious schools. Senior students read poetry, perform songs and take the young pupils to class while encouraging them. They often say “Азбука – наука, а ребятам бука”, which means that the alphabet is a science, but it’s a bogeyman for children. The ringing of the first bell (Первый Звонок) is the official start of the new school year. A first grade girl is lifted on shoulders of a grade male pupil, paraded around and ringing the first bell of the school year!

A gorgeous tradition of Russian pupils is to give flowers to their teachers to show their respect and gratefulness towards them. Ribbons are put on the clothing or they are fastened into the hair of schoolgirls of all ages. After all pupils have been introduced to the teachers, most schools are holding open lessons for guests and parents. September 1 is not a full schools day and children can return home once the celebrations have finished. But the following day the school routine will start.

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