Since we made our first day of school special with our back to school schultute (thank you to our German friends) and studied a little about the traditions of German school children, I’ve been wondering about other cool school traditions that we’ve been missing. (One friend on Instagram commented that she felt like she missed out since she just found out about the schultute!)
So, what are some other first day of school celebration ideas? (HINT: Flowers seem to be a common theme in other countries…)
First Day of School Rituals and Celebrations
School Kids in Germany
If you don’t know about the schultute, you have to drop everything right now and go read about it. On their first day back to school, German children receive a back-to-school cone (schultüte, pronounced shool-too-tuh) filled with candy, school supplies, and anything else that parents (or grandparents) want to put in there.
School Kids in Israel
For new children first attending school in Israel, they pass through an arch made by older students. Then, because learning is considered to be “sweet” for the kids first starting school, they lick honey off of letters. Balloons are then released by the older students.
School Kids in Turkey
There is no special celebration for the first day of school in Turkey. Instead, children wear brand new uniforms and traditionally bring their teachers flowers.
School Kids In India
The first day of school in India is known as Admission Day, or Praveshanotshavan. Children in India get gifts on their first day, with the most common gift being an umbrella because their school year coincides with monsoon season.
School Kids in Russia
The first day of school in Russia is a very formal day and is known as Knowledge Skills Day. Kids must dress up and the day is filled with special ceremonies. On this day, Russian children bring flowers to their teachers and receive a balloon in return. The children also attend a ceremony that ends with a special bell ringing to mark the start of the year.
School Kids in Japan
On the first day of school, Japanese children receive a backpack that is called a randoseru. Unlike the cloth or nylon backpacks that American children carry, the randoseru is a hard-sided backpack. It is often filled with origami paper, books, a pencil case, weeding tools, and also slippers since outdoor shoes cannot be worn inside. Traditionally, the boys have a black randoseru and the girls have red. Japanese children often bring a good luck lunch the first day of rice with seaweed sauce and quail eggs.
School Kids in Italy
At school, Italian children wear a grembiule, or “work smock”, over their regular clothes. It is tradition to shop for a new grembiule before school starts. In first grade, the boys wear a blue and white smock and the girls wear a pink and white smock. After first grade, the smocks are blue for everyone.
School Kids in Saudi Arabia
School kids in Saudi Arabia enjoy a celebration with food and special activities for the first three days of school. These days are used for children to mingle and get to know each other and make new friends. During this time, teachers also bring flowers to school and give them to the students.
School Kids in Bulgaria
The first day of school for kids in Bulgaria is a celebration. There is a long program that includes games, poetry and reciting, dancing, and singing. There are fun activities with the goal of getting students acquainted and accustomed to working together. The children also bring the teachers flowers.
Books on Children and Traditions from Other Countries
If you’re looking for more information on traditions and kids around the world, Children Just Like Me: A new celebration of children around the world is one of our favorite books that will forever stay in our homeschooling library!
Two other favorites of ours include: Kids Around the World Cook!: The Best Foods and Recipes from Many Lands and Kids Around the World Celebrate!: The Best Feasts and Festivals from Many Lands.
Here are some other children’s books you might enjoy during your homeschool studies:
Are you aware of a first day of school tradition from another country? Share it in the comments!
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