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Knowledge Day in Russia

31. August 2010 by Christy 0 Comments

September 1st , also known as Knowledge Day, is traditionally the first day of school in Russia and other countries in the former Soviet Union. On this significant day, students say farewell to the summer holidays and ceremoniously welcome the beginning of autumn and the start of a new academic year. September 1st is also a day of remembrance for the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis. 

Students and their families typically attend a public welcoming assembly on Knowledge Day and celebrate the start of a new year. It’s traditional for many students to wear their best clothing and to present their teacher with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Last year, President President Dmitry Medvedev delivered a message of peace and tolerance via his video blog (see video below). 

Knowledge Day is especially significant for first graders who are starting school for the first time. In the tradition of the First Bell, a male 12th grader hoists a first grade girl onto his shoulders and parades her around the school yard as she rings the first bell of the year.

Here is a video and a few photos of Knowledge Days from years past and the special traditions that accompany this special day.