The start of September heralds the beginning of the new school year in Russia and many other former Soviet republics, when millions of children across the country return to the classroom after the summer break. The first day back is known as Knowledge Day (День Знаний), often simply called 1st of September. This day also marks the end of summer and the beginning of autumn.
Knowledge Day in Russia has special significance for the incoming class of first graders who come to school for the first time and often participate in a celebratory assembly on this date. The day starts with the ringing of a bell, when a first-year pupil rings a school bell while being carried on the shoulders of a final-year student. First graders also meet their teachers for the first time and present them with bouquets of flowers to Russia. It’s an old Russian custom. On this day one can see plenty of holiday-dressed children carrying beautiful flowers arrangement meant not only for teachers but for their relatives (especially mothers and grandmothers) as well. Parents also try to make this day special for their children and give them small gifts, such as chocolate gifts or sweet gifts and plush toys.
Children don’t study on the 1st of September and the whole family usually gathers at a festive table decorated with a beautiful flowers arrangement.
If someone dear to you in Russia is a teacher, a pupil or has children studying at school, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to make a nice surprise, congratulate them on Knowledge Day and send a wonderful bouquet of flowers to Russia complimented with a delicious cake to Russia!